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



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CHUCK LOEB

Silhouette

Moosicus M 1216-2

 

 

1. Silhouette

2. Silver Lining

3. Present Sense

4. Appreciation

5. JT

6. Lockdown

7. Stompin'

8. Esta Tarde Vi Llover

9. My One and Only Love

10. Las Eras

 

Collective personnel

Chuck Loeb - Guitars

Mitchel Forman - Piano, electric piano, organ, string & keyboard arrangements (tracks 1-5)

Oli Rockberger - Piano, electric piano, melodica (track 6)

Pat Bianchi - Organ (track 7)

Moises P. Sanchez - Piano (track 8)

Nathan East – Acoustic bass, electric bass (tracks 1-5)

Will Lee - Bass (track 6)

Toño Miguel - Acoustic bass (track 8)

Peter Erskine - drums (tracks 1-5)

Steve Gadd - Drums (track 6)

Wolfgang Haffner - Drums (track 7)

José San Martín – Drums (track 8)

David Charles - Percussion (tracks 1-5)

Yuvisney Aguilar - Percussion (track 8)

Giulio Carmassi - Trumpet (track 6)

David Mann – Alto sax (track 2)

Eric Marienthal – Alto sax (track 5)

Andy Snitzer - Tenor sax (track 7)

Carmen Cuesta – Vocals (track 8)

Lizzy Loeb – Vocals (track 9)

Christina Loeb –Ukulele (track10)

 

Chuck Loeb is a difficult musician to pin down, as he has worked in so many different spheres of music: as guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, and with a wide variety of groups – from Steps Ahead to Fourplay. On this new CD he leads a number of different groups, which he calls respectively The Appreciation Band (tracks 1-5), The Family Band (track 6), The December 7th Trio (track 7) and The Musigrama All-Stars (track 8).

The predominant mood might be called a cross between smooth jazz and jazz fusion. In fact the music often sounds remarkably similar to the Pat Metheny Quartet in its heyday (with Lyle Mays on keyboards). As I was a great fan of the Metheny band, I like this album, although it sometimes strays into the realms of the smoothest of smooth jazz.

The first five tracks are pleasantly melodic, with Loeb’s guitar taking some ethereal solos. Lockdown by The Family Band is a rocky number propelled by Will Lee’s bass and Steve Gadd’s tight drumming, with trumpeter Giulio Carmassi inserting a muted solo in Miles Davis style and Oli Rockberger soloing convincingly on melodica. The December 7th Trio is an organ-based combo which steams along comfortably in common time, featuring tenorist Andy Snitzer in a funky solo.

The last three tracks of the album turn into a celebration of Chuck Loeb’s family, with his wife Carmen Cuesta singing Esta Tarde Vi Llover, and Chuck’s daughter Lizzy contributing vocals to My One and Only Love. Another daughter, Christina, adds her ukulele to Chuck’s guitar on Las Eras. They are all respectable musicians but with nothing particularly memorable about them, so perhaps the nepotism was unwise, although Chuck supplies some fine accompaniment to Lizzy Loeb.

The variation in groups and styles fills this album with pleasurable contrasts, emphasising particularly Chuck Loeb’s versatility and range.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk

 



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