True, Jeff Lorber is responsible for introducing the world to the Seattle saxophonist who became known as Kenny G. But before the G-ster went solo and began to suffocate instrumental funk with the feather pillow of smooth jazz, Lorber and his Northwest fusion band were making smart, tight, grooving music that even managed to bring out the best in Kenneth Gorelick. In the thirty years since, Lorber has always remained a cut above his G-like brethren on KWJZ. Smooth jazz, the keyboardist told me recently is one of the few ways an instrumental artist can get their music heard. Theres definitely some Muzak stuff. You toss your lot in with that and hope for some of the benefits. Tonight Lorber teams up with a couple younger musicians who are also playing accessible, pulse-driven non-jazz thats got more intelligence than the usual smooth dreck. Christian Scott is a New Orleans-bred trumpeter with a gorgeous tone and deft ideas; Kyle Eastwood (son of Clint) is a bassist who goes for more of a round sound than the usual thumb-popping style. Playing tunes from all three leaders, this quintet should help you forgive Lorber for what he, inadvertently, has wrought. All ages.
Thu., Feb. 26, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 27, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 28, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Sun., March 1, 7:30 p.m., 2009