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June 18, 2022

“What We Need” is the newest album from keyboardist and producer Mike Di Lorenzo and a long-awaited follow-up to his 2011 record “Bring it Back”. This project marks a significant change of pace in Mike’s predominately instrumental approach to his albums (save for the songs featuring vocalist Norman Durham on “Bring it Back”) as every track on it is vocal-based. With his years-long knowledge and experience in the music world, Mike was able to reach out to artists like singer/rapper CaiNo, R&B singer/songwriter Anna Moore, UK popstar Sonna Rele, jazz/soul singer Denise Stewart and Joel Kibble of the iconic (and childhood-defining for me) acapella group Take 6. The end result is a truly gratifying listening experience that not only highlights Mike’s skills in composing superb, mood-inducing music but showcases a few voices in the adult contemporary R&B , jazz, soul and pop worlds well-deserving of greater attention.


Kicking things off, we have “Island Breeze”, an absolute highlight on the record due to its irresistible blend of laid-back keyboards and horns, heavenly vocalizing from Sonna Rele, an incredibly catchy hook from CaiNo and even a brief, light-hearted rap from him as well.  Following this, we have “Let’s Make Our Love Last” where Anna Moore – who appears on half of the album’s 12 tracks – takes us from the beach setting of the previous song and into a lounge bar and café, treating us to a lyrical call to action to a prospective love interest to hook up with her. Then we get the mid-tempo “Guess Who I Saw Today”, where Denise Stewart makes her sole appearance on the album stand out with her silky smooth vocals which sound ever so elegant over Mike’s jazzy, 90s-inspired breakbeat-laced production.


On the aptly-titled “Girls Talk”, Sonna comes through with a delightful anthem for the ladies, chock full of topics she finds pleasure in conversing with her girlfriends about that, more than likely, WILL fly over men’s heads. Obviously, women will enjoy this song more than men, but that’s not to say men won’t be able to appreciate its warm production and pleasant vocals. The title track performed by Anna feels like a thematic continuation of the ‘missed opportunity’ theme of “Let’s Make Our Love Last”. Here, she broadens her scope from a second chance at love to a fruitful life, with a greater emphasis on the things she actually needs over what she constantly desires. “What We Need” is easily one of the album’s best tracks, thanks in part to its life-affirming message and instrumentation. The song “Time after Time” is yet another album highlight, with its lush, cinematic soundscape and STELLAR performance from Joel Kibble, both of which beautifully evoke the blissful style and sound of late 80s to early 90s R&B and jazz ballads.


The second half of the album kicks off with “Speak Low”, where Anna compliments Mike’s nocturnal production with some sultry, quiet storm-inspired vocals. Afterwards, the tracklist takes an unexpected turn with Sonna’s smoothed-out, R&B/jazz cover of the Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez duet “We Don’t Talk Anymore”. Though I wasn’t keen on the outro where her pre-chorus vocals sounded out of sync with the closing keyboard melody (perhaps this was meant to emphasize the emotional confusion she feels at this point), Sonna successfully managed to do justice to such a beloved song. Even CaiNo gets a crack at covering a Billboard Top 100 song near the end of the album, with his selection being DJ Snake and Justin Bieber’s (Ahh, the irony of placing a Justin Bieber song AFTER a Selena Gomez song in this tracklist) smash hit “Let Me Love You”. Mike’s approach to the song is pretty interesting, as he replaces the tropical house-oriented build-up and EDM drop of the original track with a slower, smoother, piano-driven beat which CaiNo uses to deliver a VERY IMPRESSIVE vocal performance.


With the exception of CaiNo on the album’s penultimate track, Anna is assigned the task of concluding “What We Need” – which she accomplishes in a trifecta of terrific tracks. First, we have “Runaway”, whose adult contemporary radio-friendly production and lyrical passages reminds me of mid-90s-associated R&B/soul acts like Des’ree and Oleta Adams. Up next, Anna delivers one of the best songs on the record with “When I’m With You”, a sexy yet heartfelt tribute to her partner set to a sensual, keyboard and sax-driven beat.  And on the album closer “Take a Chance”, Anna exhibits a noticeably peppy demeanor as, in a continuation of the life-affirming vibe of the title track, she’s given a new lease on life. The eagerness to take the next step into a fulfilling life resonates throughout the track, from Mike’s upbeat instrumental to Anna’s vibrant vocal delivery, both of which help to close the album on a satisfyingly positive note.


As a whole, this was a highly enjoyable jazz/R&B/soul album with versatile, textured production from Mike Di Lorenzo and fantastic lyrical and vocal contributions from his guests. Fans of those three genres will find a lot to appreciate and enjoy here, but for those who’re simply looking for the next great easy-listening record to vibe out to, “What We Need” is exactly what you’re looking for!

Matthew Bailey

This is Matthew Bailey and I am a Trinidadian blogger, podcaster, social media manager, video editor, film festival programming team member, bonafide hip-hop head and all-round film buff. I am the host and owner of the BBB RADIO podcast and YouTube channel respectively, where I talk about movies, music (preferably hip hop) and TV shows.

 
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Jaw-Dropping Radio

Fall in Love with Unforgettable Music

10 alarm fire: Mike Di Lorenzo – “We Don’t Talk Anymore” | Jaw-Dropping Review

June 23, 2022

Someone, grab a fire hose because Mike Di Lorenzo’s new cover featuring Sonna Rele is on fire.

Yes, that’s right, the fresh cover version of “We Don’t Talk Anymore” is blazing hot.

And the bold, powerful remake will engulf your eardrums in flames.

The popular song was released by Charlie Puth, featuring Selena Gomez, in the previous decade.

However, on June 3, 2022, Mike Di Lorenzo unleashed arguably one of the hottest covers for the tune.

— Jaw-Dropping Radio.

And it doesn’t only stand up to the original but may make hardcore music fans in the Smooth Jazz genre say, “Charlie and Selena, who?”

Mike Di Lorenzo created this ground-breaking cover with assistance from Frank Elmo (Tenor Saxophone) and Sonna Rele (Lead and Background Vocals).

  • For those who want to hear a game-changing remake of the pop hit, Mike Di Lorenzo’s version featuring Sonna Rele is the ultimate in music covers.

  • It was created to give the audience an extraordinary Smooth Jazz experience.

  • It is recommended that you stream the song now.

“We Don’t Talk Anymore” opens with a 17-second intro.

While some singing is heard early on, the mind-blowing vocalist doesn’t appear with lyrics until the 18-second mark.

A Voice That Will Make You Cheat on Your Girlfriend

With that said, Sonna Rele makes a grand appearance on the single with a voice that sounds like liquid sex.

Along with intense piano playing from supremely talented composer Mike Di Lorenzo, the captivating vocalist takes the audience on a breathtaking journey through the song.

Oddly, the music production holds back the spectacular Saxophone solo by Frank Elmo until 1:33.

— Jaw-Dropping Radio.

But once the Saxophone takes center stage, it will be well worth the wait.

After thirty seconds, the deeply satisfying singer reappears and takes the song to the next level.

At the end of the tune, the music changes, giving the listener a different vibe.

To hear epic Piano playing, seductive vocals, and an excellent Tenor Saxophone, stream the hot cover “We Don’t Talk Anymore” right now.

https://jawdroppingradio.wordpress.com/2022/06/23/10-alarm-fire-mike-di-lorenzo-we-dont-talk-anymore-jaw-dropping-review/

 
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June 18, 2022

Today’s spotlight is on the title track of the album, “What We Need”, a rousing original song and composition which features the pristine vocal stylings of Anna Moore.

“What We Need” is a rhythm and blues symposium in all aspects that distinguishes itself prominently with a soulful, swinging instrumentation, jazzy in a form, which captivates your listening senses accentuated by Anna’s rich, velvety textured vocals which envelop you like a blanket. “What We Need” is a remarkable listening experience and displays Mike’s adeptness as a top-notch composer and arranger…. a consummate professional!

The song is a magnificent medley of instruments and melodic phrasing led by an infectious, bubbly grand piano riff and smooth lead saxophone throughout that almost speaks in a musical form. Aside from its phenomenal musical and vocal performance attributes, the lyrical content of “What We Need” must also be applauded for its enlightening and positive messaging.

To me, this song represents embracing the things in life that truly matter and sort of harkening back to the oft used saying “all that glistens is not gold”. Human nature is to be symbolically drawn to such shimmering items; however, value comes in things we often take for granted such as health, family, companionship etc.

 Immerse yourself in all the illuminating musicality and lyrical content that this song and composition provides. Save it to your Favorites Library for quick access and also please make sure to follow Mike’s Spotify profile so you’re up to speed with all his latest music endeavors. Also, make it a point to indulge in the other eclectic selections on the What We Need album project.

 
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May 28,2022

Cinematic audio-design of the most heartfelt and refreshingly original nature – Mike Di Lorenzo blends genres with soulful intentions throughout this thoughtfully alluring new EP.

Beginning with the careful meeting of classical strings and keys with an RnB vocal lead that meanders through softly jazz-kissed scenes of intimacy – Time After Time features sublime layers of voice and a seductive overall progression from quietness to near-euphoric uplift, as the passion and brightness of the arrangement increase.

A gorgeous way to introduce this creatively pure collection, and a sensational listen in itself, which, at almost five minutes in length, really takes the time to set the scene and take listeners down those smokey streets of a simpler era. Joel Kibble’s performance is nothing less than stunning, and more than meets, even enhances, the evolving presence of the soundscape.

Sultry jazz vibes continue with exotic rhythms as Anna Moore delivers What We Need, the EP’s raspy and catchy, soulful and crisp title-track. A personal favourite for its sheer emotional intensity and the effective build up from verse to the satisfying resolve of the hook. Always mixing things up, a little creative production switches gears within, reminding us of the freedom of composition that Di Lorenzo has approached these songs with.

For Let’s Make Our Love Last we get retro bass, nostalgic rhythms, guitars and piano all intertwined and naturally juxtaposed with the simple delicacy of that leading vocal, almost whispered as it slowly rises up through the changing stages of the song.

An easy highlight is the multi-coloured Island Breeze, uplifting or soothing depending on what you need from it, featuring organic sax and retro keys, eighties bass-and-rhythm and freestyle piano-work, all cascading and collaborating throughout a near-four-minute journey that keeps on gifting more and more; more optimism, escapism, hypnotic calm and inspiration. Beautifully crafted, a little like a dream in itself – a personal favourite.

We Don’t Talk Anymore follows on well – reverb-kissed surroundings blend soulful sax, breathy vocals, natural world fragments, keys, and an overall sense of longing and nostalgia that quickly prompts the mind to wander – allowing the song to be the listener’s own, as they meander through their own memories and perhaps regrets. Another favourite.

Closing things down is the purity and power of Runaway, offering drama, confidence, style, funk and a well-placed hit of lightness and possibility at the final hurdle.

Vocally blessed and at the highest possible level, every singer featured on this EP has categorically helped in elevating its natural brightness, appeal, and deeply human quality. Sublime performances all round, and brilliantly interesting arrangements that are equally faultless in musicianship and detail and changing states.

An absolute must-hear, timeless yet aptly suited to the summer season of 2022 for its professionalism and passion so impressively intertwined.

Rebecca Cullen - UK

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

 

Industry Reviews

Respected Insights

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ANNAMOORE - FEB 13, 2022

MIKE IS WONDERFUL. I CAN'T SAY ENOUGH GREAT THINGS ABOUT HIM. HIS PRODUCTION IS HIGH QUALITY AND PROFESSIONAL. HE'S GREAT TO WORK WITH AND ALWAYS HAS GREAT COMMUNICATION. SUPER APPRECIATIVE! AWESOME ALL AROUND!!

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JOELKIBBLE - JAN 26, 2022

AWESOME EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH MIKE!


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MOVEMENTSTUDIOZ - NOV 3, 2021

A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH MIKE. THE MUSIC WAS INCREDIBLE AS WELL. REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING TOGETHER AGAIN.


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SONNAandSAUCE - DEC 19,2021

Hey Mike track is BEAUTIFUL!!!! We really enjoyed building on this. The musicality is amazing.

Hope to do more with you in the near future. :)


 

Industry Reviews

Respected Insights

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SmoothJazz.com

author: Scott O'Brien

New York based keyboardist Mike DiLorenzo has created an album that embraces what one critic aptly describes as "...the modern smoothness of today and the staples of the past like the flattering hints of Soul Jazz and CTI." The results to my ear are nothing short of outstanding. this project does a fabulous job of integrating old school with new school, and the results speak impressively for themselves. You'll definitely find BRING IT BACK to be one of your most enjoyable listens of the summer, and it's an album you'll unquestionably want to spend many a season with!

Smoothjazz.com Review

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AllAboutJazz.com

Mike DiLorenzo is actually composing new music with that classic flavor. What seems like a nostalgia project is actually a continuation of vintage brilliance. DiLorenzo does more than BRING IT BACK; he keeps it relevant.

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JazzCorner.com

"A veteran sideman who has performed with musical icons like Bo Diddley and Whitney Houston, DiLorenzo has just released "Bring It Back", an utterly irresistible throwback to the urban grooves of the early 70's. Recalling everything from James Brown-fueled funk to Marvin Gaye-ish soul to Herbie Hancock-styled jazz fusion..." "It's also another example of how flexible jazz music can be, capable of incorporating diverse elements but remaining true to its spirit."

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EOMentertainment.com

"Mike DiLorenzo is Smooth Jazz at its' highest quality. Makes you wonder why this top-notch musician has not been signed to a recording deal.  ...disc that will win the respect of jazz lovers all round, you have the modern smoothness of today, (Fourplay and Roy Hargrove) and the staples of the past like the flattering hints of the Blue Note and Soul Jazz. URBANIZED is a catchy, melodic and funky record that will satisfy your need to groove. URBANIZED becomes tastier with each listen, if you are fans of early Bob James, David Sanborn, Roy Hargrove or Fourplay, then you will love Mike DiLorenzo." 

Reviewed by Maurice Edwards

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Smooth-Jazz.DE

"Producer, composer, keyboardist and production specialist Mike Di Lorenzo has conjured up with "Urbanized" a near perfect blend of hypnotically fresh grooves that's coupled with a rapture of sultry and relaxing smooth jazz that's design for those seeking to discover a new voice called "New York Chill" from his own unwavering musical perspective."

Reviewed by Rob Young

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"With such experience and expertise one would expect the product to be good and it's all that and more... 

...one element that the publicity fails to pick up on is the originality of some of the music and the virtuosity that Mike Di Lorenzo brings to it. The CD is generously endowed with stand out tracks and none more so than "Motified" a groovy number with latin influences rumbling beneath Di Lorenzo's hallmark keyboards... Mike Di Lorenzo seems to have pulled it off and, into the bargain, provided what is most likely to be one of the more engaging releases of 2005.

Reviewed by Denis Poole

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The Jazz Artists Network

"I had the priviledge of reviewing an artist who not only surpassed mediocre but a had a dominant uniqueness. I shouldn't have to tell you how difficult that is in the smooth jazz field. ...you will find yourelf playing repeatedly... Di Lorenzo apparently knows how to bring to the jam because his bandmates make you feel like you're on the stage... If you miss this one, you'll be out of the loop."

SJM

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Naples, FL Music Festival

Brother DiLorenzo is a hidden gem of the organ-ic kind! The man is a master musician. We all know about the gems that are musically out there playing wonderful music in their own hideaway clubs and halls - here's one that has recorded for us so that we can share in the mastery of his chosen instrument. Mike DiLorenzo with Frank Valdes and the other players on this wonderful Cd bring home and fry the bacon to a soulful crisp. Delightful DiLorenzo is the real funk-filled thing. Now . . . I want to hear him on three forthcoming discs. Disc One: "DiLorenzo's tribute to Jimmy McGriff". Disc Two: "DiLorenzo's tribute to Jimmy Smith". Disc Three: "DiLorenzo's tribute to the Great Jazz & Soul Organists". Play on Mike !

DJZigZag