Lorenzo Johnson | Things Are Looking Up

Album Review: Lorenzo Johnson | Things Are Looking Up
ZoSmooth Records
by Jerry “The Mouse” Clark

It is refreshing to discover that your CD collection has gained a keeper. I personally define a keeper as music that never grows old. D.C. area native Lorenzo Johnson’s debut project “Things Are Looking Up” fits this category. The multi-talented producer, manager and musician who has worked with Ledisi, Maysa, Salt N’ Pepa, Chuck Brown and many others, now displays his personal talent on this self-made project.

Lorenzo exhibits an assortment of rhythmic jazz, funk and the well-known D.C. groove known as Go-Go. What’s interesting is that Lorenzo’s personal music journey is expressed in all fourteen tracks of the project. Track one, the beautiful introduction “Time Machine,” is followed by the groovy “Feeling Great” a definite pleaser with a big horn sound. The superb craftsmanship in the arrangements is shown in the title track “Things Are Looking Up” on which Brian Lenair (sax), Alvin White (guitar) and Jason Holt (drums) accompany Lorenzo (all other instruments).

The fusion of jazz /rock displayed on “Thread the Needle” and “Forward Bound” showcases the abilities of guitarist Alvin White, testaments of the versatility that Lorenzo conveys in his craft. Equally impressive are the jazz/funk of “Catch the Wave” and “The Sunlight,” adding further elements to the musical recipe.
The tracks “4th of July Cookout,” “Time to Dance” and “Stop at the Top” are musical celebrations that define the sound of summer. Just listening to them you feel the presence of good food, laughter and dancing. Lorenzo also expresses his spirituality in “Free” and “I Surrender All.” All of the songs were written, produced and arranged by Lorenzo Johnson, showcasing the full versatility of his musicianship. I will be looking forward to seeing his name on many other projects in the future.

Jerry “The Mouse” Clark

Mellow Madness Music

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