Pianist/keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo pays homage to early '70s funk on new CD
August 6, 2011 (New York, NY) Written by Robert Sutton. For those old enough to recall, R&B wasn't the artificially processed offshoot of hip-hop it gradually devolved into in the ‘90s. It was music that was once rooted in soul, jazz, and the blues, accessible enough to corral the masses without succumbing to overly slick, faceless production and cookie-cutter performances. Remember the days when R&B truly mattered? Pianist/keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo wants to Bring It Back.
A veteran sideman who has performed with musical icons like Bo Diddley and Whitney Houston, DiLorenzo has just released Bring It Back, an utterly irresistible throwback to the urban grooves of the early ‘70s. Recalling everything from James Brown-fueled funk to Marvin Gaye-ish soul to Herbie Hancock-styled jazz fusion, DiLorenzo takes a mirror ball to the bell-bottomed past with style and passion.
To deepen the authenticity of this period piece, DiLorenzo has brought in vocalist Norman Durham of the seminal disco act Kleeer to sing on a few tracks. Durham's voice is already alive and kicking on the first track, "Keep That Same Old Feeling," as DiLorenzo's rollicking piano and Frank Elmo's exhilarating saxophone starts off the record on an upbeat vibe that it never surrenders.
DiLorenzo is obviously familiar with the vintage sounds that he is paying homage to here, but he seems to be picking up where the music left off before Top-40 radio and Saturday Night Fever in the late ‘70s diluted the punchy formula that funk once had. "Let's Get Busy" is a bracing funk number, simmering with toe-tapping energy as DiLorenzo's keyboards aim for a futuristic iciness.
For those who prefer their jazz with a danceable kick, Bring It Back delivers the goods. It's also another example of how flexible jazz music can be, capable of incorporating diverse elements but remaining true to its spirit.
More Information: http://www.keepthegroove.com