Jeff Lorber is another example of how Philadelphia remains one of the East Coast’s most musical cities. He released his first two albums as a bandleader with The Jeff Lorber Fusion in 1977 and 1978-the later of which featured guest appearances from jazz fusion luminaries in Miles Davis alumni Chick Corea and Corea’s own protege Joe Farrell. Following signing to Arista in 1979 and his label debut Water Sign,Lorber bough in Seattle saxophonist Kenny Gorelick for their 1980 album Wizard Island. Gorelick would pursue a solo career a few years later under his better known moniker of Kenny G.
The first time I ever heard the name Jeff Lorber was when DC native musician/DJ Nigel Hall loaned me his copy of Lorber’s 1983 solo album In The Heat Of The Night. Being that period was also my early years on the internet,there was the ability for me to go out and research Lorber’s music further. And then purchase albums that looked interesting. One such purchase,made on Ebay was a vinyl copy of the 1980 Jeff Lorber Fusion album Galaxian. It was filled with strong grooves. And one that still stands out for me was co-written by Kenny Gorelick. It was called “Spur Of The Moment”.
The groove starts right off cold with driving 4/4 beat. The chorus features Gorelick playing the singable funky melody on his processed sax. Below this,Lorber comes in with a snaky synth bass while Marlon McClain comes in with a high pitched rhythm guitar. On the refrains,Lorber brings it on home on the electric piano with Gorelick’s bluesy exchanges. On the bridge,Lorber plays a heavy melodic synthesizer improvisation over a full electric bass. On the final choruses of the song,Lorber plays this synth solo and a honky tonk electric piano call and response with a full horn section before the song fades out.
The ultra melodic jazz/funk/pop style instrumentation and melody of this song is right in line with the streamlined sound Quincy Jones was getting with the Westlake studio crew at the same time. Yet with Gorelick’s brittle,succinct solos on his processed wah wah sax (as well as the somewhat stripped down rhythm) put this song right into the boogie/post disco funk mode of the era. The way the solos become more melodic grand and improvisational in scope showcase the talent of this band when they played together. It’s by far one of my favorite songs that the future Kenny G would ever be associated with.