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).
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
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
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.
focused and on course in the tradition of jazz by reworking the Gershwin
classic “Summertime.” Lapidus plays the guitar and
piano on this selection.
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.
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
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!
back in the writer’s corner to pen the melodic
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.
Rich Pierson composes
the last of thirteen tracks titled “Boom
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.