At the moment, a new jazz/fusion group is about as welcome as a pair of last year's shoes. The style has become predictable and what was once fashionable music now sounds dated.
The Jeff Lorber Fusion (which appeared last night at the Cellar Door) is a perfect example.
Their music was rigid and made for uncomfortable listening. The songs were similar, with unobtrusive melody lines that were backed by an unwavering, funky beat. As if by formula, each song plodded away with little dynamic range or harmonic invention.
The musicians weren't worn out, they were just tired. Jeff Lorber's piano and synthesizer work was competent but uninspired and he seemed content to fill the material with aimless improvisation. Bassist Danny Wilson provided one or two exciting moments with his thumping, rhythmic solos, but his "feel" and tone were no different from those of countless jazz bassists.
Pop music styles tend to be like fashions. They have their day and than they are gone. Jazz/fusion, in its prime, was energetic and soulful. But it is becoming a thing of the past and with groups like the Jeff Lorber Fusion, appears to offer little for the present.