From the moment Terje Lie’s (pronounced “Terry Lee”) Bright Moments begins to play, it’s impossible to keep your face from grinning or your foot from tapping to the album’s spirited beats.
In this highly anticipated contemporary jazz release, the Norwegian-born saxophonist teams up once again with renowned keyboardist Jeff Lorber and bassist Jimmy Haslip. This is Lie’s third album following the success of his much-acclaimed previous works, Traveler and Urban Vacation, and his second with Lorber and Haslip. Whenever these three collaborate, there is no shortage of happy and exciting grooves, and Bright Moments is no exception.
Contemporary or “smooth” jazz tends to spark heated debate within the jazz community. This style of music has exploded in popularity over the years, but many don’t consider smooth jazz to be “real” jazz, the kind of soul-stirring music that leaves you spellbound with emotion. However, it’s hard to dismiss Bright Moments in light of this classification as it is probably the most joyful and energetic recording I’ve heard in a while, and especially within this genre.
From the funky opener “Stormy Skies” to the Latin-tinged “Big Surf,” the R&B flair of the CD’s title track to the grooviness of “Jungle,” there is a lot of dynamic soul heard on this record. The song titles enhance the listening experience since Lie says he based them on the weather or whatever was happening the day he worked out the melodies in the Los Angeles-area beach town where he currently lives. Thus the aforementioned songs, as well as “Santa Anas” and “Daybreak” are givens. And you can bet it must have been one awesome breakfast that inspired “Pancakes,” the second-to-last track oozing with positivity.
Overall, Bright Moments is a pleasantly catchy album you can’t help but smile while listening to.
For more information on Terje Lie, please visit Lie’s website.