Occasionally artist names, cd title, cover art or detailed lists of musician’s on any given project will sooner or later command your attention. After seeing the title “Urbanized” I must admit I was a little apprehensive at first considering all the gimmicks that are used to sell and promote products. New York based keyboardist, composer, producer, production specialists Mike Di Lorenzo has absolutely no tricks, or ulterior motives up his sleeve with his national debut cd titled “Urbanized”. Lorenzo’s music contains an atmospheric mix of harmonically fresh grooves and the textures of contemporaryjazz, Latin, Hip-Hop, Smooth, R&B and what he calls New York Chill.


The Players: Vinnie Cutro ~ trumpet, Bob Malach ~ tenor saxophone, Frank Valdes ~ percussion, Willy Dalton ~ nylon string guitar, Karl Latham ~ drums and Mike Di Lorenzo ~ piano, keyboards, Rhodes and programming, All compositions and Production by Di Lorenzo except for Stevie Wonders “Too High”… Keep The Groove© 2005


Keyboardist Di Lorenzo steps out of the gate with a cut titled “City Vibe” featuring his talented partner and friend Vinnie Cutro on the muted trumpet. Mike works the programming gear to fabricate an illusive Hammond B3 sound that further develops into a tight groove that establishes his presence at the beginning of “Urbanized”.


The title of the next track “Loosey Goose” might sidetrack you just a little bit. This warm and breezy samba features the anointed horn stylings of world-class musician Bob Malach on tenor and the timbered percussion flavoring of Frank Valdes. Mike’s piano solos and phrasings are simply flawless. 


“Urbanized”, the title track, features Di Lorenzo on the piano, Rhodes and keyboards. This track has an ambient urban vibe and melodies that features percussionist Valdes. Mike uses his programming technique to get a flute like sound out of his keyboard therefore; this concept accents this potentially mesmerizing tune.


The tempo of this cd doesn’t vary that much from track to track; however have no fear because the overall vibe and structure incorporates inviting rhythms and textures for most smoothjazz & chill music aficionados to embrace. Case in point, this illusive groove titled “Severance” is highlighted by the beautiful tonality of trumpeter Cutro anchored by the lyrical guitar stylings of Wally Dalton and Valdes colorful percussive and rhythmic beats.  


By the way, Di Lorenzo serves up only one cover song on the project titled - “Too High” by the legendary Stevie Wonder. What really surprises me here is how Di Lorenzo connects with his own voice on this classic and he deserves major dap for being creative with this unusual twist to this classic.


“West 47th” comes in at the 6th spot featuring the talented Bob Malach on the tenor horn. Again percussionist Frank Valdes presence is felt once again and throughout “Urbanized”. I dig Di Lorenzo’s playing style; he should indeed draw well-deserved attention not only his playing but also his overall composition and production savvy.


The soulful “My Time” by Di Lorenzo showcases his keyboard wizardry, as he plays all instruments on this selection.


“Groovemaster” has a hip techno feel and groove to it. I can imagine some folks may be a little annoyed by the drum programming, as it seems automated at times. Trumpeter Cutro and percussionist Vales raise the bar a few notches by giving this tune a breath of freshness.


I love Di Lorenzo’s use of the Rhodes piano, meshed with his keyboard work is superb. This can be particularly heard on “Motified”, featuring tenor man Malach and Valdes on the percussion.


“Northern Samba” as the title suggest is a samba. It’s filled with the precise ingredients that one expects to hear within the confinements of a samba. Di Lorenzo’s prowess is on target as composer and player he seems very comfortable in this magical setting. 


I’m intrigued by Di Lorenzo’s use of melodies and harmonies balanced in unison with sonic flavors throughout “Urbanized”. He’s persistent in this tradition as shown on “After Midnight”, and why not it works.


“Curb Appeal” is the last selection on “Urbanized”. Yes indeed, Di Lorenzo taps into the fabric of urban landscape for that cool and breezy sound as he works all instruments on this track. He delivers my favorite flute sound that’s in sync with a fresh vibe that is certainly catchy with the right hooks. He may have had radio in mind when he recorded this track.


Producer, composer, keyboardist and production specialist Mike Di Lorenzo has conjured up with “Urbanized “ a near perfect blend of hypnotically fresh grooves that’s coupled with a rapture of sultry and relaxing smooth jazz that’s design for those seeking to discover a new voice called  “New York Chill” from his own unwavering musical perspective.






q       Visit Di Lorenzo’s web space at: www.keepthegroove.com

q       Listen too and purchase here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/mikedilorenzo