Due to a club owner’s request, pianist Jim Lapidus formed one of New Jersey’s hottest jazz bands, Lazy Bird, in 2001. Lazy Bird’s debut “Feelin’ It,” is influenced by a potpourri of creative artists including the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and legendary Ray Charles and R&B sax-master Maceo Parker (of the JB’s “James Brown”) with a favorable dose of Latin and World Music tossed in for good measure. What’s really exceptional about Lazy Bird is not only their passion for traditional jazz; but their songs are poised with the grace and voice of originality (which not many of today’s groups can make this claim).  

The Players: Mike Fein ~ alto & tenor saxes and flute, Chris Finnegan ~ bass, James Gibbs ~ trumpet, Rich Pierson ~ drums with special guests Isai Acevedo ~ electric guitar, Isaac Gutwilik ~ percussion and Jim Lapidus ~ piano, organ, Rhodes, clavinet, synthesizer, acoustic guitar on “Secrets and Summer Time”, all tracks arranged and Produced by Jim Lapidus © 2004 

The opening and title track “Feelin’ It,” penned by Lapidus has a quirky vibe (in a good way) to it. The best part about it, its quirkiness is filled with all the catchy elements of fun.  

Next up, is the Miles Davis classic “So What.”  Right away, Lazy Bird handles the essence of this classic with the authority. Unless they’re trained with respect for the classics younger musicians in particular would sidestep undertaking a task of this magnitude.  

Lazy Bird, stays focused and on course in the tradition of jazz by reworking the Gershwin classic “Summertime.” Lapidus plays the guitar and piano on this selection.  

At the forth spot is another Lapidus written tune called “Untitled #6”. The brass section featuring Mike Fein on saxophones and James Gibbs on trumpet are expressively tight with a little help from their leader Lapidus working things out on the Organ. The next selection “Chill Out,” is a slow funky groove penned by Lapidus and has a Cannonball Adderely vibe to it.  

“Red Tape,” the next cut is coded and draped with the colorings of Latin music. The band’s interactive mode sustains the complexities of this jewel rather nicely. The bluesy “Saying Goodbye,” comes in at the 7th spot on “Feelin’ It.” On this cut the band digs in with the rawness that you long for when you listen to the blues. The choppy “Close to Perfect,” is upbeat and a nice transition point scored by Lapidus. It sounds like the kind of groove that the band has a heck of a lot of fun with in a live setting.  

Lazy Bird tackles without any shortcomings World Music titled “South Side Samba.” It has a south of the border featuring Fein on flute, Mr. Gutwilik on percussion and Lapidus on clavinet and piano. Saxophonist Mike Fein pens the next track titled “/11. Be,” quirkiness or a zeal for fun is very much part of the band personality because it definitely shines in all its glory on this track!  

Lapidus is back in the writer’s corner to pen the melodic “Secrets,” the next selection. On “Secrets,” Jim Lapidus picks up the guitar for the second time around. This tune has a pop flair to it compositionally; the airy passages are the indicator. Drummer Rich Pierson composes the last of thirteen tracks titled “Boom Boom Bah.”  

Lazy Bird’s debut “Feelin’ It,” has been a unique listening experience for me. Nevertheless, the most enjoyable and important aspect about the group is their originality, talent and the live sound that’s expressed throughout the project. From what I hear on “Feelin’ It,” musically it might not be for most listeners because so many people are into a more commercial sounding music these days. Nonetheless, for those of you seeking to expand beyond your digital music space (“Ipod”) into a boarder experience that can be fulfilling then Lazy Bird’s “Feelin’ It” could very well take you to another and welcomed place musically. 




q       Visit Lazy Bird at their web space: http://www.jimlapidus.com/lazybird.html

q       Listen to and purchase their music: http://cdbaby.com/cd/lazybird