Quite an interesting pairing: keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who has performed and/or produced many contemporary jazz and smooth-jazz hits, and jazz/rock guitarist Mike Stern, whose background includes stints with Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, and the Brecker Brothers.
It was bassist Jimmy Haslip’s idea to bring the two together. A founding member of the Yellowjackets, Haslip played with Stern when he guested on the band’s 2008 album Lifecycle. These days, Haslip plays with Lorber’s band, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, and he says he felt the combination of Stern and Lorber would produce something new and different. His instincts proved correct. On Eleven—which Haslip co-produced with Lorber—they serve up a set ranging from radio-friendly tunes to blistering jams that could peel the paint off your living-room walls.