Primarily known as a session musician, pianist Eddie Gip Noble has worked with artists such as Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, Wayne Henderson, Etta James and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. In The Lite Of Things is Noble’s second release following 2004’s Love T.K.O. Like a number of keyboard oriented albums by Kim Pensyl, this recording was totally done by Noble playing all of the parts on a keyboard workstation. In this case, it’s the Korg Triton Studio Musicworkstation Sampling Keyboard. There is one exception. On “I Don’t Want To Be Alone Tonight” Noble adds a guitarist and vocalist to great effect. The material covered on this R&B uptempo-oriented smooth jazz recording is all covers, save for one Noble original.
More than anything else this album is a really nice demo or all of the different abilities, styles and grooves Noble can bring to projects. As a keyboard player, he has ample technical abilities that shine throughout the disc. The rhythmic grooves he lays down are funky, sweet and have the absolute perfect feel needed for each tune. From a laid back beat on “Thousand Miles” to the thumping on “Linus And Lucy,” Noble understands how the right feel can make or break a project and track.
As a soloist, Noble is certainly competent, laying out some nice phrases on Michael Jackson’s “The Girl Is Mine,” and the background timbres he calls upon on each track are nice, though sometimes they are a bit thin sounding. As a performer, if there is a detraction, it would be his slight overreliance on trills to fill the proceedings, such as on “Blackbird” and “The Girl Is Mine.”
Just like the Kim Pensyl work alluded to earlier, this recording suffers from a sameness from track to track. The sounds are so similar, with respect to the patches triggered, that their overuse causes a slight malise to occur when listening from track to track. On the other hand, the grooves are so true, both with respect to the rhythmic tracks Noble lays down and his keyboard figurations, and his ability to impart the right backbeat at the right moment is so good, one can easily overlook the slight monotony.