Under The Lake
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Under The Lake

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1993 | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1993
Band Jazz Soul




""...you want to listen over and over""

"Kudos to Under The Lake for making such a listenable album top to bottom…and doing it all under the umbrella of Covid, no less! Fantastic musicianship, melodic compositions that push the envelope just the right amount, and a production quality that makes you want to listen over and over. It’s a well done album indeed. Congrats, guys." -Dave Koz - Dave Koz

"...everything I love about contemporary jazz..."

"Under The Lake is everything I love about contemporary jazz... Accessible melodies with a driving rhythm section, buoyant sax solos, commanding keys and gripping guitar. Old Friends, New Grooves offers up the wind in your hair, lane-changing exhilaration I've come to count on from this band!" Sandy Shore - Founder/SmoothJazz.com Global" - Smoothjazz.com

""...a hugely appealing Steely Dan kind of a thing going on.""

Contemporary jazz collective Under The Lake is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Jayson Tipp and after a stop start, evolving line-up, kind of existence the band is back with ‘Your Horizon Too’ that will be released April 3 on the Mind In Overdrive label.

For Under The Lake it all got started in San Diego with the 1993 debut recording ‘Dive In’ and ‘Up For Air’ that followed three years later. A ten-year hiatus, during which Tipp took time out to raise a family, ensued before the critically acclaimed ‘People Together’ hit the streets. At the time I described it as being an amalgam of upbeat, joyful melodies and grooving hooks yet when Tipp returned to the studio in 2018 with ‘Jazz Groove & Attitude’ he did so with completely different personnel.

For ‘Your Horizon Too’ Tipp has reconnected with long time collaborators Richard Sellers on drums and Nathan Brown on bass while adding ‘new boy’ guitarist Patrick Yandall to the mix. Steeped in the laid back musical confines of San Diego, Yandall is a player that has rhythm and melody pumping through every vein of his body and completing the quartet is another Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite, sax man Quintin Gerard W.

In fact it is Quintin’s sax that leads the way with the free flowing ‘Last Week’ and he is again at the center of things with ‘Side Two’ where an extremely atmospheric intro paves the way to a relaxed charmer that is right up there with the best that ‘Your Horizons Too’ has to offer. Just as good is the mellifluous ‘Diego Nuevo’ and although ‘Bridgetown’ is an easy grooving easy on the ear kind of a number it is ‘This One Too’ that has a hugely appealing Steely Dan kind of a thing going on.

Talking of Steely Dan the band’s hit tune ‘Josie’ is one of two carefully crafted covers that Tipp incorporates into ‘Your Horizon Too’ with the other being a down and dirty interpretation of the Stylistics smash ‘People Make The World Go Round’.

These two apart the remaining ten tracks are all written or co-written by Jayson Tipp and in so doing he bestows the collection with a sometimes mellow but always tight disposition that is exemplified by songs such as ‘Wishing It All Away’, ‘Stealing The Night’ and the smoky, decidedly moody, ‘You Forgot Your Ticket’.

Listen out for great interplay between Tipp, Yandall and Quintin Gerard W on the feisty ‘Trip To The Grove’ and despite the fact that the first tune to be selected for radio is the chilled out ‘It’s Your Horizon Too’ there seems little doubt that several of the tracks are destined, over time, to find their way to the airwaves. - Smooth Jazz Therapy

"expect plenty more slick and polished smooth jazz/funk with a soulful undertow"

UNDER THE LAKE are a West coast based smooth jazz outfit with a somewhat sporadic career. They were formed back in 1992 in San Diego by keyboardist Jayson Tipp and they debuted the following year with ‘Dive In’. After 1995’s ‘Up For Air’ the group sort of split – with members pursuing all kinds of other projects – professional and personal. They reformed briefly a decade later to mark Tipp’s 40th birthday but after one album, they once more went their separate ways. In 2018 Under The lake resurfaced for a third time with the LP , ‘Jazz, Groove & Attitude’. The line up was Jayson Tipp (keys), Brian Foxworth (drums), Kenny Franklin (bass), Evan Mustard (guitar)), Nat Caranto, David Evans and John Moak (horns).The sound on that album channelled the classic sound of 70s and 80s artists like the Crusaders and George Duke. Indeed one of the focus cuts was ‘George Is His Name’ an unashamed tribute to Mr D!

For this latest Under The Lake outing, Tipp has put together a “new” line up…though not actually new. Drummer Richard Sellers, horn man Quentin Gerard W , bassist Nathan Brown and guitarist Patrick Yandall all appeared in previous Lake incarnations. Despite that personnel switch, though, the sound of the 15 tracker (13 tunes plus 3 radio edits) remains much the same as on the previous set; that’s to say expect plenty more slick and polished smooth jazz/funk with a soulful undertow … indeed much like the aforementioned Crusaders and George Duke. Hear flavours too of Steely Dan. Tripp is a big Becker/Fagen fan; he cites them as a major influence and as if to nail it, here he offers a faithful instrumental cover of their ‘Josie’.

The album’s other big cover is a look at the Stylistics’ ‘People Make The World Go Round’. The Thom Bell/Linda Creed/George Perry-penned Philly classic is a long-time favourite with the jazz community. It’s been reinterpreted countless times but here it takes on extra poignancy. You see, just before this album was released Gerard W took ill from COVID-19. He endured a tough couple of weeks but now thankfully he’s turned the corner and is recovering. People and their relationships really do make the world go round. Tipp says: “This extraordinary time reminds us how important the people in our lives are. We feel like our recording of ‘People Make The World Go ‘Round’ hits home as we think about the special people in our lives’. By the way, for this treatment Under The Lake don’t stray too far from the tune’s original atmosphere though listen up for Yandall’s steel string guitar and the soulful (Wilton Felder-esque) tones of Gerard W’s sax… who is, thankfully, on the way back to full health.

Of the album originals the sax-led ‘Diego Nuevo’ ploughs a solid soul groove while ‘It’s Your Horizon Too’ (track 1) allows each band member to set out their stall right from the start. Interestingly, the tune began life as a proposed track on Gerard W’s upcoming solo set. Tipp loved it and with the sax man’s permission remodelled it, claiming that its themes (title and melody) expressed what he felt in bringing his old pals together: “We’re on a journey together even if we’re travelling separately. The horizon is what your eyes are fixed on as you look forward to your destination”. Words that now ring truer than ever. - Soul&Jazz&Funk

"Propelling powerfully..."

Propelling powerfully into their second quarter century of hard-jamming live performances and recording, San Diego based phenoms Under The Lake – truly the freewheeling, adventurous West Coast equivalent to Spyro Gyra – infuse their high-octane latest album YOUR HORIZON TOO with a multitude of stylistic excursions built on its grooving Smooth Jazz foundation. Led by founder and keyboardist Jayson Tipp, the core trio adds crackling elements of funk, old school R&B, neo-soul, a true spirit of freewheeling jazz fusion and dashes of mystical cool to their relentlessly inventive mix. Although guitarist Patrick Yandall and saxophonist Quintin Gerard W are billed as featured guests, the two interact powerfully with the band while making the deepest emotional impact with their intense, heartfelt solos. - Smoothjazz.com

""...the next best thing since Spyro Gyra.""

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.
- RivetingRiffs.com


Two years ago I discussed the album 'Jazz, Groove & Attitude' by the American band Under the Lake, which has been around since 1992, and now they are back with their fifth release. Keyboard player, songwriter and producer Jayson Tipp had a conversation with saxophonist / flutist Quintin Gerard W., and that made him think. He asked him to contribute to this new album, together with band members bass player Nathan Brown and drummer Richard Sellers. A few days later guitarist Patrick Yandall came by, and joined the band. And yes, the project came about, and will be on the shelves on 3 April. That contains 10 original jazz funk tracks, plus 2 covers. The title track is actually based on the song "Horizon" by Quintin, for which Tipp wrote a new melody. That was immediately the catalyst for this new project. After all, the horizon is what your eyes rest on when you look at your destination. This is followed by a beautiful, contemporary cover of The Stylistics' 'People Make the World Go' 'Round', followed by 'Bridgetown'. And 'Wishing it all away' is a nice song, followed by the up-tempo rhythm of 'Last Week'. 'Side Two' is mainly worn by Quintin's sax, while 'You Forgot Your Ticket' takes it easy. 'Diego Nuevo', on the other hand, goes more into the jazz funk tour, after which a cover of Steely Dan's 'Josie' arrives. Steely Dan is simply one of Tipp's influences. On 'This One Too' you hear a solo by Tipp, and 'Trip to the Grove' contains a complex melody line. Fusion-like funk is also featured in 'Stealing the Night'. As bonus tracks you also get 3 "radio edits" from the title track, "Side Two" and "This One Too." - Keys and Chords

"Under The Lake's "George is his Name""

Lay back and chill to the beautiful sounds of Under the Lake's latest single "George is His Name". Brimming with a cool freeform jazz, the single was taken from the bands newest CD entitled "Jazz, Groove and Attitude." No stranger to the music scene, Under The Lake has been around since the early 90s, the brainchild of keyboardist Jayson Tipp. The band brings to the fore melodies that blend jazz and soul with a style similar to that of The Crusaders and Spyro Gyra. "George is His Name" has a retro vibe to it where the instruments are pure and crisp and is probably the closest thing to hearing the band perform live. - Jazz Moods Radio

"Under The Lake - Jazz, Groove & Attitude"

When you have only 4 albums to show for over the last 25 years, it goes without saying that when you do make your statements, they better be of the go big or go home variety. These Lakers hit the target. Smooth jazz with edge honed over the years, they have funk, roll and soul all delivered in the proper measures making this a disc of delights. Tasty stuff throughout, maybe we can get them to show up a little more often. Hot stuff. - Midwest Record

"Under the Lake – Jazz, Groove & Attitude"

With the colorful combination of David Evans’ tenor sax, John Monk’s trombone, and Jayson Tipp’s hearty keyboards leading the way (along with some seriously competent guitar work from Evan Mustard, the get atcha thick bass lines from Kenny Franklin, and Brian Foxworth’s hefty, steady drums), Under the Lake parades out its fourth release entitled Jazz, Groove & Attitude.

Marrying jazz and funk in that dancing, jubilant manner often associated with the hard-driving, bottom-heavy persona of that musical hybrid, this album guides you through a solidly-structured house of groove with a balanced approach of melody, musicianship, and catchy hooks.

At its base are the class and sophistication of traditional jazz, the sassiness of that grit we know as funk, and the tender seasoning of good ol’ soul music – all cast in a hue that is undeniably hot and smooth all at once.

With that Crusaders-like attitude, the group struts through this set of thick grooves, confidently knowing that you’ll be caught up in it all in no time.

There are tracks here to suit whatever jazzy mood you might be in. There’s the rousing funk of “November 30” with its mesmerizing Hammond presence; the penetrating soul/R&B flavor of the oh-so-silky “George is His Name” (inspired by the late, great George Duke); the kickstarting lead track “Breaking Through” with its very chatty horn lines; a slight nod to the good feel of that “cool cat” jazz on “Good Things” with that funky edge and equally vocal brass lines — along with a stroll with that fat Kenny Franklin bass; the sexy, R&B-flavored “LJT;” more mid-tempo charged funk with “Full of Life;” and other goodies.

The album has charm, charisma, dirty and thick funk, and horns and keys to really settle into with great satisfaction. A golden moment in this modern era of jazz. Here are guys who haven’t forgotten the ingredients of a good jazz/funk “stew” and don’t try to disguise it as anything but. Simply put: I really enjoyed the mastery here, the attractiveness and allure of the moods and sound, and the spice it carries. Grab this one, and just soak in it. — Ronald Jackson - The Smooth Jazz Ride

"Creative Energies (1996) by Jonathan Widran"

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. - All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com)

"JazzTimes, July 1996"

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. - JazzTimes (Hillarie Grey)

"Under The Lake "Jazz, Groove & Attitude""

“A nice trip down ‘memory lane’ that brings me back to the time of Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper, or The Crusaders.” - Keys and Chords

"effervescent, vivacious and all-together engaging"

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. - smoothjazz.com

"Solid Contemporary Jazz with a bit of Groove and Attitude"

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. - Cedar Rapids Gazette (Dick Hogan)

"The Groove's the Thing"

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! - Improvijazzation Nation

"Eclectic Offering that Favors Upbeat, Joyful Melodies"

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. - North Jersey Herald and News (Don Dilorio)

"Fresh and Talented"

A fresh and talented group of musicians delivering catchy, upbeat and sultry sounds. A breath of fresh air on the Contemporary Scene. - Cjazz.com

"Lightly Funky Grooves Under Jazz Textured Melodies"

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. - Urban Network (A Train)


Old Friends, New Grooves (2021)

Your Horizon Too (2020) - #43 on Smoothjazz.com's ANNUAL Top 100

Jazz, Groove & Attitude (2018)

People Together (2007) - a Music Choice.com top 10 release

Up For Air (1996) - 4 Star rating from Allmusic Guide

Dive In (1994)



"Effervescent, vivacious and all-together engaging" (smoothjazz.com) describes Under The Lake's original sound that "doesn't sit easy in any category, thanks to its heavy doses of funkified bass and occasional soul references" (Don Dilorio, North Jersey Herald and News). Composer, keyboard-player and founder, Jayson Tipp refers to Under The Lake’s sound "jazz, with groove and attitude." 

Over the past 25+ years Tipp and crew have released 5 internationally-distributed albums. Their most recent release "Your Horizon Too" (2020) includes 4 globally aired singles reaching #43 on Smoothjazz.com's Top 100 Album chart for the year. Prior albums include “Dive In” (1993), “Up For Air” (1996) which received a four star rating from the All Music Guide, their Top 50 charting release "People Together" (2007) and the Crusaders-influenced "Jazz, Groove & Attitude" (2018). 

Under The Lake's list of credits include live performances with a "who's who" list of jazz artists such as Joe Sample, Billy Cobham, Keiko Matsui, Stanley Jordan, and others and appearances at The PDX Jazz Festival, Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, The Maui Music Festival, Newport Beach Jazz Festival and the House of Blues. Under The Lake has received critical praise in 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.

Band Members