Under The Lake have received immense critical praise in local, regional, national, and international 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.
Four star rating for UTL's 1996 release "Up For Air".
"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."
- Don DiIorio, North Jersey Herald and News
"A fresh and talented group of musicians delivering catchy, upbeat and sultry sounds. A breath of fresh air on the Contemporary Scene."
- Michele Abrams, cjazz.com
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 fusion. The San Diego band's second release Up For Air has a rhythmic ease that its more aggressive debut lacked, and this sort of subtlety goes along way towards establishing a sound that's both radio friendly and artistically intriguing. The title summarizes the effect perfectly: this time there is room to breathe between the passages of intense virtuosity. And yet, even if the basic tunes are less complex, there are moments in 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. Guests on sax- and make an agreeable counterpoint to the hairpin turns- are Jeff Kashiwa and Hollis Gentry"
"Strap yourself in for a bouncy, fun ride in the jazz improvisation style. This San Diego-based jazz ensemble likes their music on the funky side. That's certainly a reflection of Tipp's love of jazz-rock fusion (there's a definite Pat Metheny influence) and his own years as the founder of short-lived jazz band Hot Lava. Under The Lake open with a saxophone lead over percussion on "Our Hollyday" and later slide into a funky drum beat with muted trumpet and guitar on "Globule." The variety of musical approaches is stunning and the mood always upbeat, playful. This six-man band is always controlled and a joy to listen to."
- Steve Baska, The Sun Newspapers
"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."
- Dick Hogan, Cedar Rapids Gazette
"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!"
- Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation.
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...The result is the effervescent, vivacious and all-together engaging. PEOPLE TOGETHER...there are 14 tracks on the CD and every one is flawless and thoroughly gratifying.
- Beth Lewis of SmoothJazz.com