Together again, after a hiatus of ten years, UTL is back with the freshest, most compelling smooth jazz release of the year - People Together. People Together is filled with energy- inspired by UTL's enthusiastically-received reunion in 2005 (their first live performance in 8 years) at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle. On this year's release, they again deftly demonstrate their unique crafting of upbeat, joyful melodies and grooving hooks.
Critically-acclaimed Under The Lake's list of credits include three internationally distributed releases and live performances with a "who's who" list of jazz artists at popular smooth jazz events like the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, KiFM Anniversary Festival, Maui Music Festival, House of Blues, Croce's, and The Coach House- Joe Sample, Spyro Gyra, Norman Brown, Larry Carlton, Keiko Matsui, Billy Cobham, Stanley Jordan, Stanley Clarke, George Howard, Jeff Lorber, Steve Reid's Bamboo Forest, The Braxton Brothers, Alan Holdsworth, Michael Cates, Mike Gealer, Arnold McCuller, and others.
Under The Lake have received immense critical praise in local, regional, national, and international publications including JazzTimes, Jazziz, France's Jazz Hot, Canada's Exclaim, Germany's Cascade, as well as The New York Daily News, UTNE Reader, and The Music Paper:
> "A fresh and talented group of musicians delivering catchy, upbeat and sultry sounds. A breath of fresh air on the Contemporary Scene." (Michele Abrams, cjazz.com)
> Four star rating for UTL's 1996 release "Up For Air". (All Music Guide)
Detroit native, Nathan Brown has been laying down his own brand of intelligent, funky, jazz-infused bass since the age of 15. Nathan studied music at Henry Ford College and learned the business as an active player on the Detroit scene. This lead to a long-term stint as a member of guitarist-flautist Alexander Zonjic's band (1986-1993). This gig gave Nathan the opportunity to play with Bob James, Earl Klugh, and others.
Nathan relocated to San Diego joining up with UTL for the next several years and recording on UTL's release "Up For Air" (1995). Since the mid-90's, Nathan has toured with Scott Wilkie, The Boneshakers, and jazz guitarist Brian Hughes among others.
Nathan is an active session player and regularly performs with some of the most consistent soul, r&b, and contemporary jazz groups- Randy Jacobs (and The Boneshakers), Scott Wilkie, Jason Weber, Patrick Yandall, and Kamau Kenyatta and is a frequent call for tours. Nathan has recorded with the Scott Wilkie Band, the Boneshakers, Charlie Musslewhite, Joe Ely, Eliades Ochoa, Willie Nelson, Adam Duritz, Bill & Bonnie Hearne and many others.
The original "fnkysax", Quintin Gerard W. grew up in Norco, Louisiana with established jazz roots as a member of the District VI Honor Jazz and Concert Bands of New Orleans where he performed with Harry Connick Jr. Quintin was awarded a scholarship in music from Loyola University in New Orleans where he majored in Jazz studies and under Ellis Marsalis.
In 1989 Quintin moved to Los Angeles playing with many of the top names in "Smooth Jazz." such as Jeff Lorber (The "Worth Waiting For" tour), Kenny Garrett, Najee, Dave Koz, Ron Brown, and Hollis Gentry III. Quintin joined UTL in the mid-90's.
Quintin has recorded with Charlie Wilson (The Gap Band's "Testimony" CD), and the late Rick James. His major commercial recording sessions include B.E.T.'s Comic View (Opening Theme 1998-2000), MCI, Levi's Strauss, Estee Lauder, and Sears Kenmore Television Commercials.
Selections from Quintin's debut CD "Fnkysax" were included in "The Golden Empire" released by Jersey Style Films, Inc. Quintin also recently launched a new product line of Professional musical instruments under his trademarked brand name Fonk Horn™.
A native of the Three Rivers, CA David Harris' versatility and aggressive playing lead Jazziz reviewer Jonathan Widran to call David an "electric guitar fancyman." Now based, in the LA/OC/SD mega-metroplex, David's professional career has spanned over 20 years and a broad variety of musical contexts.
Davids credits include extensive studio and live work with artists like Mike Gealer, Gregg Karukas, Hollis Gentry, Carl Evans, Scott Wilkie, Glen Fisher, and others. Live credits for David include appearances with Michael Cates, Mike Gealer, Euphoria, Scott Wilkie Band, Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, and many others.
A native of Valencia, California, Richard "Chef RnB" Sellers received early training from Stewart Fischer (brother of jazz giant Claire), Earl Palmer, and Joe Porcaro. In 1980, Richard received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and was honored as an exceptional soloist at the 1983 Fullerton Jazz Festival.
Richard later relocated to San Diego where he has continually worked with top professionals including a long-time association with Rob Thorsen and Ruby Presnell ("Ruby and the Red Hots") in their group called Ruby and Cool Blue appearing on their album "Skin". Richard is one of the busiest drummers in Southern California having shared the stage with artists such as Jimmy and Jeanie Cheatham, Kenny Rankin, Mike Wofford, Bob Magnusson, Marshall Hawkins, Clare Fischer, Gary Foster, Jackie and Roy, Andy Simpkins, Jackie and Roy Kral, and Kamau Kenyatta. Chef also appears with Hubert Laws on his CD "Hubert Laws Remembers the Unforgetable Nat King Cole"
"Chef RnB" is known for uncanny talent with brushes, his undeniable energy, joy for performing, and his strict attention to dynamics and groove. Richard has been featured in Modern Drummer magazine and made high-profile appearances at the Namm Show. Chef is affiliated with Smith Custom Drums, Turkish Cymbals, and Alternative Percussion.
Jayson "buzz" Tipp has been a multi-instrumentalist since his youth. Over the years this has included guitar, trumpet, trombone, baritone, and keyboards. Keyboards became Jayson's main focus while he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees while diving into straight-ahead and fusion groups during the 80's.
Relocating to San Diego in the early 90's Jayson established UTL. The self-produced "Dive In" was released in 1993 leading to national distribution and airplay - lasting 5 weeks on the Gavin's "Chartbound". Regional touring and jazz festival appearances led to performances with the strongest names in contemporary jazz...too many to list.
A second CD, "Up For Air", was completed in 1995. In the late 90's Jayson took time out from the music business to raise a family. For the past several years, Jayson has been working on writing new material, recording in a local studio, raising a family, and getting older.
Nathan Brown - Bass
Quintin Gerard W. - Saxophones, Flute
David Harris - Guitar
"Chef RnB" Richard Sellers - Drums
Jayson Tipp - Keyboard, Trumpet
People Together (2007), full-length CD - a Music Choice.com top 10 release (July - October, 2007)
Up For Air (1996), full-length CD
Dive In (1994), full-length CD
"...the next best thing since Spyro Gyra."
[+ Show ]
A few years ago the smooth jazz / funk group Under The Lake, whose members at that time, were all ba...A few years ago the smooth jazz / funk group Under The Lake, whose members at that time, were all based in the San Diego area, were being heralded as possibly the next best thing since Spyro Gyra. For various personal reasons the band member took a hiatus, but they have returned with the 2007 release of People Together, a CD that will impress you as you listen to the high caliber of musicians who comprise Under The Lake. Jayson Tipp, sways between funky and smooth on the keyboards, Quintin Gerard W. blows sweet notes from his saxophone and flute, Richard Sellers maintains a steady beat on the drums, David Harris pulls smooth riffs from his electric guitar, and one of my favorite bass guitarists Nathan Brown is his usual spectacular self.
On tunes such as the sweet and mellow, “Lost,” Quintin Gerard W.’s saxophone creates a relaxing ambience befitting a laid back southern Californian beach. Hmmm, lay back on the warm sand, close your eyes, and--dare we say it—get lost in the music.
It is Tipp’s funky, bluesy vibes on the keys that create the groove for the title track, “People Together,” a superbly arranged song, which should be a club favorite if the band decides to tour in 2008.
Brown, who has performed with Bob James, Kirk Whalum and Patrick Yandall, to name just a few, lays down the deep grooves which form the foundation for songs such as the opening track “Redhead I Know,” and another funky tune, “Dirty But Sober.” On the later tune, Brown’s bass is more in the forefront, and a little more percussive.
Percussionist Jeff McCullough joins Under The Lake for the second track, “Amazing Love,” a song that features a distinct Latin groove and up-tempo rhythm. At 5:43, it is too long to fit into most terrestrial radio station formats, but that is their loss, because satellite and internet radio stations will probably give it lots of airtime, and don’t be surprised if club patrons swamp the dance floor as the tune begins to play.
“Diego’s Dance,” appears twice on the album People Together, and I really wish they had not done that, because I am still wrestling with whether or not I prefer the lengthier 7:41 version, or the shorter, more laid back remix which closes out this very good album. David Harris’s electric guitar rhythms compliment the saxophone grooves nicely.
For the audiophiles who are wondering about the quality of the CD, put your concerns to rest, because the recording engineers Darrell Harvey and Valery Saifudinov did a fine job. The five members of Under The Lake produced the album, and the mixing and mastering was handled by Jeff McCullough. This CD is a keeper.
effervescent, vivacious and all-together engaging
[+ Show ]
If you’ve been involved in the Smooth Jazz format for a number of years you may already be familiar ...If you’ve been involved in the Smooth Jazz format for a number of years you may already be familiar with this group (and many of its individual members). Under The Lake’s 1996’s UP FOR AIR and 1994’s DIVE IN both had strong impacts at radio and press, but until a 2005 reunion show in Seattle, the band members had settled into their own lives and careers. The Seattle show was so well received that it prompted the group (founding member Jayson Tipp on keyboards, Nathan Brown on bass, Quintin Gerard W. on fnkysax, David Harris on guitars and Richard “Chef RnB” Sellers on skins & hats) to come together to record another album. The result is the effervescent, vivacious and all-together engaging PEOPLE TOGETHER. “Redhead I Know” launches the album with a silky suave melody that will have listeners anxious to see what more is in store for them. Mix in a pinch of funk, a touch of sophistication and some dazzling instrumentation and “Amazing Love” is your result. “Sounds Like It Now” envelops you in a cozy, contented aural luxury. Currently climbing the charts, the first single, “Sweet Life” is pleasing in its ease and purity. The title track is another standout with an effortless and graceful flow. Under The Lake has achieved quite an accomplishment with PEOPLE TOGETHER… there are 14 tracks on the CD and every one is flawless and thoroughly gratifying.
Creative Energies (1996) by Jonathan Widran
[+ Show ]
The genre needs all the new creative energies it can muster from ensembles like Under the Lake, whic...The genre needs all the new creative energies it can muster from ensembles like Under the Lake, which balances its smooth pop ideas with rougher edges bordering on rough fusion. The San Diego band's second release Up For Air has a rhythmic easiness to it that their more aggressive debut lacked, and this sort of subtlety goes a long way towards establishing a sound that's both radio friendly and artistically intriguing. The title summarizes the effect perfectly, as there is finally room to breathe in between the passages of intense virtuosity. And yet, even if the basic tunes are less complex, there are sections of cool gems like "Natalie" and "Las Reinas" where solo invention takes over for simply soulful grooves. Leading the charge is electric guitar fancyman David Harris, but Jayson Tipp, who doubles on keyboards and smoky jazz trumpet, achieves his share of the synergy. Guesting on sax and making for an agreeable counterpoint to the hairpin turns are Jeff Kashiwa and Hollis Gentry.
The Groove's the Thing
[+ Show ]
This is a FINE example of the creativity and high-energy playing that today's jazz can be. Seems lik...This is a FINE example of the creativity and high-energy playing that today's jazz can be. Seems like it must BE 'jazz month', eh? We've gotten a TON of good music in this year already, & Jayson Tipp's Offshore Music label (he plays keyboards on this outing, too) is a PRIME example of that! If you like Bob James, Larry Carlton, or Ronnie Laws, you'll KNOW what we mean already! The most distinctive aspect of this outing is the 'comfort level' the players seem to have with each other. The GROOVE is the THING...no fighting for leads....sometimes it's the sax soloing, at other times the guitar(s) stand out; but no 'pressure'. The pieces are all originals, which is certainly a mark in it's favor. If you're looking for 'hype', you'll probably wanna look elsewhere- but if what you want is clean/crisp funk-based sweet, you'll concur with me and say it's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Solid Contemporary Jazz with a bit of Groove and Attitude
[+ Show ]
Jazz buffs will enjoy diving into Under The Lake's second album, "Up For Air." The snazzy quintet pu...Jazz buffs will enjoy diving into Under The Lake's second album, "Up For Air." The snazzy quintet puts out very listenable contemporary jazz with the CD's 13 original tunes. For comparison's sake, the band's sound can be likened to The Crusaders, Larry Carlton, Bob James, and David Sanborn (when he cuts away from the formula stuff he often records). The 64 minutes of "Up For Air" offers solid contemporary jazz with a bit of groove and attitude. Just when you're settling in, the band wakes you up with the likes of the Latin-flavored "Las Reinas", strongly supported with soulful saxophone, or "The Slider," with a more funky groove, layered saxophones and hot lead guitar. "Note To Pat" gives Tipp a chance to show off his keyboard prowess. At times you'd swear it's a calliope. Other good trakcs include the mellow title track, "Pal-O-Mine," an alternate-tempo tune with Larry Carlton-style guitar; and "Our Hollyday," a light funk groove with smoldering saxophone. Nice jazz album.
JazzTimes, July 1996
[+ Show ]
In a sophomore album purge, Under The Lake founder Jayson Tipp enlisted an all-new lineup for Up For...In a sophomore album purge, Under The Lake founder Jayson Tipp enlisted an all-new lineup for Up For Air. With keyboardist Tipp at the helm, the San Diego-based band retains the spacious, mellow sparkle that made last year's debut release, Dive In, such a pleasure. The best cuts funnel this quality into a lively swinging feel- both "Bringin' It Back" and "Our Hollyday" incorporate jangling '70's-style guitar riffs for funky, bubbly hooks. Likewise, "The Slider" goes for raucous hits and dramatic stops worthy of a spy show soundtrack.
Lightly Funky Grooves Under Jazz Textured Melodies
[+ Show ]
San Diego, the city that brought us the good-times contemporary jazz band Fattburger, now gives us U...San Diego, the city that brought us the good-times contemporary jazz band Fattburger, now gives us Under The Lake, a quintet of bassist Nathan Brown, drummer Michael Evans, guitarist David Harris, percussionist Roy Gonzales, and JaysonTipp doubling on keyboards and trumpet. As far as the music goes, it's pretty much standard issue all the way- lightly funky grooves under jazz-textured melodies ("Globule", "Up For Air", and "Our Hollyday"), Latin-kissed daydreams ("Natalie", "Las Reinas", and "Eye Spy")or lullaby balladry in that Kenny G vein ("Gifted"). There's an overly polished feel to this recording that leaves you with the sneaking suspicion that some of these tracks (especially "The Slider" and "Electric Nights") probably come off a lot more exciting when played live within the confines of some hot San Diego nightspot. The smoothed out mixing may get them some airplay, but overall doesn't do the band's true aura enough justice.
Fresh and Talented
[+ Show ]
A fresh and talented group of musicians delivering catchy, upbeat and sultry sounds. A breath of fre...A fresh and talented group of musicians delivering catchy, upbeat and sultry sounds. A breath of fresh air on the Contemporary Scene.
Eclectic Offering that Favors Upbeat, Joyful Melodies
[+ Show ]
Here's another entry into the "cool jazz" category though it doesn't sit easy in any category, thank...Here's another entry into the "cool jazz" category though it doesn't sit easy in any category, thanks to its heavy doses of funkified bass and occasional soul references. An eclectic offering that favors upbeat. joyful melodies, the five men of Under The Lake along with some guests provide solos on guitar, sax, trumpet, and keys, making for a very colorful record. "Our Hollyday" starts off the disc with a spirited, shuffling funky jazz melody. The title track features some affected guitar over an insistent, beefy bass line that falls somewhere between Spyro Gyra and The Rippingtons. When we get into tracks like "The Slider" the band switches into a late 70's fusion style with an upbeat, moving rhythm and some great trumpet work by Jayson Tipp.
Typical set includes 60-90 minutes of music from UTL's CD's as well as un-released original material. UTL will, on occasion, include a selection of straight-ahead or contemporary jazz standards interpreted in the UTL style.