Bobby Lee balances melting pot of '70s funk, smooth jazz, and R&B on new album
(Published: May 24, 2011)
May 23, 2011 (Brownwood, TX) Written by Robert Sutton. Bobby Lee's voice is heard through his piano, and it is Indeed Soulful, the title of his latest album.
On this collection of sleek instrumentals, Lee balances a melting pot of ‘70s-styled grooves, blending together smooth jazz, funk, and R&B into a potent, mesmerizing stew. Lee doesn't need words; the rhythms that he has composed - and, for the most part, played - himself speak their own universal language.
In many ways, Lee is a throwback not only to the streetwise urban sounds of the early ‘70s but to the roots of smooth jazz, when that genre had a beat-friendly kick instead of the watered-down blandness it mainly became.
The blame for smooth jazz's downward spiral into audio wallpaper was due to radio stations toning down the format to create a faceless ambience for office work. Lee doesn't fall into the trap; in fact, his independent artistic vision is at the heart of the record's success.
Lee allows himself to be carried away by the music's transcendent pull, and it is exhilarating to listen to. On the title track, Lee's swirling piano adds a shimmering coat to the song's percolating funk; it throbs like a city's nightlife, awake with passion and positive vibrations. On "Double Up," Lee's pulsating bass builds up to a sweaty jam; he is similarly fired up on "Here Waiting," which moves with hip-shaking electricity. Clearly, no, this isn't jazz that simply sits there, that repeats itself anonymously in the background.
Lee has been producing music since he was a teenager, and his youthful exuberance can still be keenly felt on these recordings. On "Room to Breathe," Lee conjures enough steam to make any hip-hop kid feel absolutely intimidated. This is a musician at the peak of his abilities; prepare to be left in awe.
More Information: http://www.powerofmusicrecords.com/indeedsoulfulintro.cfm