||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
November 4, 1952 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Instruments||Piano, keyboard, guitar|
Peak (since 2008)
|Associated acts||Michael Jeffries, Karyn White|
Jeff Lorber (born November 4, 1952, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States) is an American Grammy Award-nominated keyboardist, composer, and record producer. After leading his own group, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, he went on to pioneer the smooth jazz genre.
Many of his songs were featured on The Weather Channel's Local On The 8s segments, including appearances on the channel's compilation albums, The Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz and The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for his 2007 Blue Note Records release titled, He Had a Hat.
Early life 
Lorber was born to a Jewish family in Philadelphia. He started to play the piano when he was four years old and after playing in a number of R&B bands as a teen, went on to attend Berklee College of Music, where he developed his love for jazz. He moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1972.
The Jeff Lorber Fusion (1977-1981) 
His first group, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, released their self-titled debut album in 1977 on Inner City Records. Supported by a revolving cast of musicians including longtime drummer Dennis Bradford, Lorber recorded five studio albums under this moniker. These early releases showcased a funky sound influenced by other jazz fusion practitioners such as Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and Return to Forever, the latter's Chick Corea appearing on several Fusion cuts. Like his contemporaries, Lorber performed on multiple keyboard instruments including piano, Rhodes piano, and various analog synthesizers, often favoring the Minimoog and Sequential Circuits Prophet 5.
"Rain Dance," found on the 1979 album Water Sign, was sampled for the 1996 Lil' Kim single "Crush On You." It was also sampled for the track "Love Like This" (featuring Lil' Cease) on SWV's 1997 album, Release Some Tension.
Solo career (1982-present) 
In 1982, Lorber recorded his first solo album It's A Fact, which explored Lorber's R&B roots with a smoother, more synth-heavy sound. The album featured a new backing band as well as contributions from former Fusion bandmate Kenny G and Paulinho Da Costa. It's A Fact also contained several songs with vocalists, a stark contrast to the instrumental recordings of the Fusion.
1984 was a prolific year for Lorber, who followed up his solo debut with In the Heat of the Night and Lift Off. Later that same year, Lorber teamed up with the production duo David Frank and Mic Murphy, otherwise known as The System, to produce his most successful effort to date, Step By Step. The title track rose to number 31 on the US Billboard R&B chart.
Lorber's keyboard work was featured in the PlayStation video game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. His input can be heard during the game's closing theme song "I Am the Wind" (which also featured the saxophonist Gerald Albright).
His subsequent albums continued to evolve in a smooth jazz direction. Two greatest hits compilation albums, The Definitive Collection and The Very Best of Jeff Lorber, were released in 2000 and 2002 respectively. To date, he has recorded a dozen solo albums, his most recent being 2005's Flipside which was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category.
Lorber has done extensive production and session work for other artists including Dave Koz, Eric Benet, Herb Alpert and Laura Branigan. In addition to his recording and performing, Lorber also hosts his own show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Studio albums (The Jeff Lorber Fusion) 
- The Jeff Lorber Fusion (1977, Inner City)
- Soft Space (1978, Inner City)
- Water Sign (1979, Arista)
- Wizard Island (1980, Arista)
- Galaxian (1981, Arista)
- Now Is The Time (2010, Heads Up)
- Galaxy (2012)
Studio albums (solo career) 
- It's a Fact (1982, Arista)
- In the Heat of the Night (1984, Arista)
- Lift Off (1984, Arista)
- Step by Step (1984, Arista)
- Private Passion (1986, Warner Bros.)
- Worth Waiting For (1993, Verve Forecast)
- West Side Stories (1994, Verve Forecast)
- State of Grace (1996, Verve Forecast)
- Midnight (1998, Zebra)
- Kickin' It (2001, Samson)
- Philly Style (2003, Narada Jazz)
- Flipside (2005, Narada Jazz)
- He Had a Hat (2007, Blue Note)
- Heard That (2008, Peak)
- Doug Levine (February 8, 2011). "Jazz Grammy Nominees Include Lorber, Clarke, Moody". Voice of America. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Ankeny, Jason (1952-11-04). "Jeff Lorber - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- Hogan, Ed (2000-02-22). "Step by Step - Jeff Lorber : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- Wynn, Ron. "Step By Step - Jeff Lorber : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997) PlayStation credits". MobyGames. 1997-03-20. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- [dead link]
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