I saw this band live in Boston. I almost didn't go because I really dislike "smooth" jazz and I had red flags when I saw Jeff Lorber and Dave Weckl listed. On the other hand, I dig Randy Brecker and Brian Bromberg so I went. I had never even heard of gary Meek.
I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the evening was just great hard bop accoustic funk. There were a couple of lame elevator pieces, elevated by superior playing on inferior material. Lorber sounded quite good on accoustic piano, Weckyl didn't have to swing so he was great, and the others sounded great. I really liked that Meek was able to get a big funky sound without a modified pea-shooter mouthpiece.
The downside? I ordered a gary Meek CD to check him out some more and it was all synth-washed crap. He played great but it was like seeing a great actor in a bad movie. I don't know whether to blame the smooth players or the producers...
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