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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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CHUCK LOEB

Plain'n'Simple

Care Music Group 0206971GLA

 

 

1. D.I.G. (Deep Inner Groove)
2. Organeleptic
3. Red Suede Shoes
4. The Blues App
5. Plain 'n' Simple
6. Com Esse Que Vou Eu
7. You Got It
8. Skylark
9. Bebop Betty
10. Annie's Song
11. It's About You
12. The Hello

Chuck Loeb - Guitar
Harvey Mason - Drums
Pat Bianchi - Organ
Carmen Cuesta - Vocals (track 6)
Lizzy Loeb - Vocals (track 8)
Will Lee - Bass (track 6)
Mauricio Zoratelli - Percussion (track 6)
David Charles - Percussion (tracks 3, 5)
Till Bronner - Trumpet (track 3)
Nathan Eklund - Trumpet, trombone (tracks 3, 4)
Eric Marienthal - Sax (tracks 3, 4)

 

Chuck Loeb's jazz credentials are well established, as he has played with the likes of Stan Getz, Gary Burton and Steps Ahead. Yet he has tended to become associated with the brand of smooth jazz which made few demands on the listener. Thankfully this album marks a return towards real jazz, although some tracks fall into the category of jazz funk.

Accompanied by warm sounds from organist Pat Bianchi and skilled drumming from Harvey Mason, Loeb plays in a variety of styles, with occasional echoes of Wes Montgomery. The opening D. I. G. sets the mood with groovy blues guitar. Organeleptic displays the guitarist's technique at a fast tempo and Harvey Mason contributes an assured drum solo. This is one of eight compositions by Chuck on the album.

Red Suede Shoes is one of several tracks where the guitar and organ are cleverly intertwined. Some horn players add interesting solos. Chuck's family gets in on the act, with his wife Carmen singing on  Com Esse Que Vou Eu and his daughter Lizzy vocalizing on Skylark. Unfortunately Lizzy has a rather weak voice which fails to carry the lyrics clearly.

Harvey Mason's It's About You proves that Chuck Loeb can convey a ballad with sensitivity. And the closing The Hello is a demonstration of balanced dynamics which rises to a climax and then sinks back into quietness. Altogether this album demonstrates the breadth of Chuck Loeb's abilities, which are enhanced by the members of his trio.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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