With such experience and expertise one would expect the product to be good and it's all of that and more...

...one element that the publicity fails to pick up on is the originality of some of the music and the virtuosity that Mike Di Lorenzo brings to it.

The CD is generously endowed with stand out tracks and none more so than 'Motified', a groovy number with Latin influences rumbling beneath Di Lorenzo's hallmark keyboards...

Mike Di Lorenzo seems to have pulled it off and, into the bargain, provided what is likely to be one of the more engaging releases of 2005.

 by Denis Poole. April 2005.

www.smoothjazznow.com

 

Reviews

"with shades of Bob James, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Smith on the keyboards ...  Its hard to find a poor track on this set which will definitely appeal to all Smooth Jazz fans... the title track Urbanized which also has a killer electric piano solo reminiscent of George Duke...    Bob Malach shines on Tenor Sax, Vinnie Cutro play the fine trumpet work... this excellent recording which is easy on the ears and just perfect for your car stereo for the summer of 2005"

 

http://www.euroclubdejazz.com

"I had the priviledge of reviewing an artist who not only surpassed mediocre but he had a dominant uniqueness. I shouldn't have to tell you how difficult that is in the smooth jazz field.

...you will find yourself playing repeatedly. . .

Di Lorenzo apparently knows who to bring to the jam because his bandmates make you feel like you're on the stage . . .

If you miss this one you'll be out of loop."

SJM

http://thejazzartistsnetwork.com

"Mike Di Lorenzo is Smooth Jazz at its' highest quality. Makes you wonder why this top-notch musician has not been signed to a recording deal.

 . . disc that will win the respect of jazz lovers all round, you have the modern smoothness of today, (Fourplay and Roy Hargrove) and the staples of the past like the flattering hints of the Blue Note and Soul Jazz.

Urbanized is a catchy, melodic, and funky record that will satify your need to groove.

Urbanized becomes tastier with each listen, If you are fans of early Bob James, David Sanborn, Roy Hargrove, or Fourplay then you will love Mike Di Lorenzo. "

Reviewed By

Maurice Edwards

http://www.eomentertainment.com

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URBANIZED

 

 

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.  

 

Rob Young

 

http://www.smooth-jazz.de/Rob/Urbanized.htm

   

 

Full-Length Review

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Mike

Di Lorenzo

kEEPtHEgROOVE

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Mike Di Lorenzo

Bring It Back

 

 

Like electronic piano bookends, the opening moments of the first track (“Keep That Same Old Feeling”) and the last on the CD (“It's Tough In Here”) nicely frame a great variety of really tasty jazz. There is something here for nearly every fan, from the fantastic keyboard work to the smooth vocals to the inspired solos of the other instrumentalists that Di Lorenzo invited to play with him.

 

 

Let's start with a couple of those solos. About half way through “Sweetness” a sax suddenly joins in, and it plays out like the commentary that the first half of the song was just setting up for - sweet indeed. During the flashy muted trumpet and flute duo on “Club Ibiza” the players compete for the floor like a couple of fiery Latin dancers. But good jazz is much more than just good soloing, right? How about a standard? Track 5, “One For My Baby”, is a nice fresh interpretation that features a great mellow crooner on the vocals.

 

It's really the variety, though, that takes this album to a level above your typical smooth jazz. At times it's a little too funky to be smooth, like on “Bring It Back”. At other times it's too soulful to just be jazz, like on “It's A Shame”. And how about the really neat combination of elements on “Can't Hide Love”? The rhythm section lays down a nice Latin feel, while Di Lorenzo keeps it mellow on piano, but then he introduces these West Coast style 'whistle' sounds on the synthesizer, and it's all punctuated with funk-style brass hits. Ultimately, it is the keyboard playing of Di Lorenzo that brings it all together. He plays with a near perfect balance of electronic modernism and classy tradition, so if you like piano jazz don't miss out on this great CD!

 

 

 

Key Tracks- Can't Hide Love, Bring It Back, Sweetness

 

Donny Harvey- MuzikReviews.com Staff

 

July 7, 2011

 

©MuzikReviews.com

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SmoothJazz.com Review

 

author: Scott O'Brien

                           

New York based keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo has created an album that embraces what one critic aptly describes as “…the modern smoothness of today and the staples of the past like the flattering hints of Soul Jazz and CTI.” The results, to my ear, are nothing short of outstanding. BRING IT BACK, Mr. DiLorenzo’s sophomore release (following up on 2005’s “Urbanized”) combines nine stellar original instrumentals with four classic vocal covers from The Crusaders, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Spinners and, yes, the Fred Astaire songbooks, all featuring the silky smooth voice of Norman Durham (member of the funk group “Kleeer”). This project does a fabulous job of integrating old school with new school, and the results speak impressively for themselves. You’ll definitely find BRING IT BACK to be one of your most enjoyable listens of the summer, and it’s an album you’ll unquestionably want to spend many a season with!

SmoothJazz.com Review

 

“DiLorenzo is actually composing new music with that classic flavor. What seems like a nostalgia project is actually a continuation of vintage brilliance. DiLorenzo does more than Bring It Back; he keeps it relevant.”

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=85200

 

 

Pianist/keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo pays homage to early '70s funk on new CD

“A veteran sideman who has performed with musical icons like Bo Diddley and Whitney Houston, DiLorenzo has just released Bring It Back, an utterly irresistible throwback to the urban grooves of the early ‘70s. Recalling everything from James Brown-fueled funk to Marvin Gaye-ish soul to Herbie Hancock-styled jazz fusion,…”

“It's also another example of how flexible jazz music can be, capable of incorporating diverse elements but remaining true to its spirit.”

http://www.jazzcorner.com/news/display.php?news=2106

 

 

Mike Di Lorenzo - Bring It Back

“His debut solo release came in 2005 with the critically acclaimed ‘Urbanized’ and now he is making a return with the excellent ‘Bring It Back’. A CD that can aptly be described as being both retro and funky it’s a nice mix of covers and original compositions with the added bonus of four vocal tracks that feature the silky soul tones of Atlantic recording artist Norman Durham.”

http://www.smoothjazztherapy.com/

 

 

Starportrait.de - Germany

‘Mike Di Lorenzo had inhaled the Soul over many years. Now he breathes the air of Good Old Time into his unique music.

Mike Di Lorenzo's creates with Bring It Back his own smooth jazz style that is unique to his sensibilities. He delivers with his funk-filled ideas new musical innovations the format needs so urgently.”

http://smooth-jazz.de/starportrait/DiLorenzo/BringItBack.htm

 

 

 

Pianist / Keyboardist Mike Di Lorenzo revives '70's Funk on new album