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He Had A Hat by Jeff Lorber
Released: Apr 2007
Label: Narada
Jeff Lorber shares two things with Joe Sample – he helped blueprint the smooth jazz keyboard style on the one hand but is also a more inventive jazz musician than even many of his fans know. Lorber puts real jazz heat into even the most radio friendly numbers for this solo outing (which includes soulful vocal cuts with Eric Benet and Paula Cole). There are even a couple of more straight-ahead jazz numbers and the topflight guests (incuding Chris Botti, Hubert Laws, Russell Malone and Randy Brecker) also know how to bring bop muscle to smooth jazz.
Nick Dedina