Mike Di Lorenzo plays the ivory keys with the passion and grace of modern day jazz magic man. He lets his fingers do the walking and all the talking on a beautiful instrumental recording called Urbanized. The title turns out to be appropriate. The artist explores the dynamics of modern day urban living through twelve fantastic trips down the jazz highway. It is a multitude of styles mixed together that would find a home in any jazz nightclub, city street corner or your own living room. A culturally diverse endeavor such as this takes a little bit of nearly every sub genre in jazz to bring to a boil a literal stew of sounds.
On the remake of Stevie Wonder’s "Too High" there is man adding his "Yeah" overtones here and there, sounding like Isaac Hayes, with that deep throaty male moxie kind of style, which adds to the funky workout. That is the only cover that Di Lorenzo pulls out of his never-ending bag of musical tricks. He is a stalwart composer and musician, an enviable position for anyone to be sitting in with the high-level of competition found with independent releases. Unlike the majors, the indie realm is a level playing field that is determined by an artist’s ability to combine their musical skills with marketing shrewdness, and finding the right combination of all of the above to make it all happen. Sometimes great recordings such as this go unnoticed. I for one do not want to see that happen. This CD is a solid representation of jazz-fusion that demands your attention. Every track offers the listener a different mood to free fall into, to feel enveloped by its ambiance. Personally, that is all I want to do is escape into another world while taking in an aural excursion. This album allowed me to feel many different emotions and it gave me a shot of positive energy as well.
Whether you are on "West 47th Street" or it’s "After Midnight," Di Lorenzo makes it all believable, he puts you right there with his musical visions. This "City Vibe" takes a nod from the greats of the past and injects the foundation of this musical skyscraper with everything it needs to become a marvel of modern technology without losing the spirit or meaning of how it got there in the first place. It can be tricky to be respectful to your heritage and past without letting the studio and today’s technology bury what you hold so dear. The delicate balance of past inspirations and today’s energies works out beautifully on this album. The end game is.... players perform to their highest levels without compromise and it makes this a consistently enjoyable release. It is inspirational for anyone that desires to create something in the same way.