about guitar masters Chuck Loeb is under the first artists to mention.
Touched by his music one never can disassociate from his work again.
Loeb started his career in New York with Ray Barreto, flutist Hubert
Laws and drummer Chico Hamilton. Already in 1979 he joined Stan Getz's
band. During that time he met and married vocalist Carmen Cuesta. In
1985 Loeb joined the group "Steps Ahead" with Michael
Brecker, Michael Mainieri, Peter Erskine and Victor Bailey.
released several solo albums on the labels DMP and Shanachie. Besides
his solo projects he also played in the smooth jazz group
"Fantasy Band" which recorded three album between 1993 and
1997. Parallel he performed with the contemporary jazz group
"Metro" with four albums on the Lipstick and Hip Bop labels
between 1994 and 2002. As Bob James comments Loeb is deeply rooted in
the jazz tradition. With his knowledge and virtuosity he is the real
deal for Heads Up International. His first release for this label is
scheduled on January 23, 2007.
title "Presence" has a special sense for Chuck Loeb.
"Nowadays, there's a lot of music that gets created in a
laboratory. We all have computers, and we do things long distance. But
it never ceases to amaze me how, as soon as you put the live musicians
into the equation, it's their presence that brings the thing to life.
That's the idea behind the album title - the effect that an
individual personality has on the music, both in the context of a
recording and in a live setting."
Good To Go
is a pointed melody. A good start for the album and Chuck's guitar
solo which begins effortless from the main structure of the song.
Remarkable: Chuck also plays keyboards, bass and drum programming on
this and further tunes. This song was recorded at Automotive
Recording, Chuck's garage or studio, as you will.
Ricki Don't Loose That Number
was a mega hit for the group Steely Dan. It's one of the group's most
gentle and accessible songs and first appeared on their album
"Pretzel Logic" in 1974. Chuck's cover version has a
nonchalant attitude. Dave Mann did a great job arranging the horns and
performing saxophones and flutes.
Window Of The Soul offers
a remarkable sound, the sitar, which is filling the gaps between
Chuck's guitar riffs.
Loeb has also a romantic vein. Starting Over
is an awesome example for all smoothies. Josh Dion (drums and
percussion), Matt King (piano), Brian Killeen (bass) are Chuck's crew
on this tune, which reminds me strongly at Pat Metheny's great themes.
Matt King has recorded and performed with Rufus Reid, Chris Potter,
Blood, Sweat and Tears, Joe Lovano, Jon Hendricks, John Patitucci and
Bob Moses. Together with Chuck he creates a dense atmosphere combining
jazz, new age and more musical elements of the past century.
means "You carry me" in Spanish. The title reveals Carmen
Cuesta's Spanish roots. The dulcet Samba song was written more than
two decades ago when both played together in the band Paralelo.
"I've had experiences like this before where, even if he song is
very old, I can't get the melody out of my head", says Loeb.
"I got the main chorus from "Llevane" from all these
years ago, and I wrote a new bridge for it and had Carmen sing on it.
We recorded the whole thing in about a day. It was a spontaneous thing
that we did together in our own studio at home. The lesson here is to
never throw a good idea away."
The title track
Presence is dedicated to Carmen
Cuesta's late father, Anastasio Cuesta. "We lost him about a year and
a half ago, right before I started producing this CD", says Loeb. The
contemplative appealing tune carries much sentiments in smooth waves.
After The Music
Inside Chuck now presents The Music Outside.
A funky smooth jazz tune build in his garage and refined in Mas Vell
and La Cocina. I often heard such themes, but Chuck does it at it
best. Mike Ricchiutti adds a small but perfect piano solo, that's the
pinch of salt in a delicious soup.
On the tune
The Western Sky Chuck is
supported by the members of his group Metro, Wolfgang Haffner and
Mitch Forman. The tune sounds like a Western movie score with much
strings and the typical guitar riffs you find in this movies.
Hanging With You
is featuring Andy Snitzer on sax, who also appears on the first track.
I really appreciate it, when the sax isn't the lead instrument and the
instrumental arrangement is well-balanced.
Mr. Martino is
as the title says a tribute to legendary guitarist Pat Martino. "I've
been a big fan of Pat's music since I was 16 years old, and last year
I had two opportunities to work for him for the first time," comments
Chuck. "So I finally got to know Pat personally after being a fan for
all these years. I had dedicated songs in the past to George Benson,
Wes Montgomery and other guitar players, but Pat needed to have his
song to." The song showcases the brilliant contemporary jazz guitarist
Chuck Loeb, many fans missed on his further albums. Breathtaking his
dialogue with Matt King's organ.
Closer of this
album is a cover of James Taylor's Shed a Little Light.
"I just love the title and the lyrics and the spirit of this song,"
say Chuck. These guys (Mike Ricchiuti, Ron Jenkins and Brian Dunne)
played with me for about eight or ten years, and they're very close to
my heart. I'm very glad to have them on a CD that represents a
new chapter in my life." Chuck plays his Sadowsky Archtop in a
style which reminds me a little bit at Leo Kottke's bottleneck guitar
album "Presence" is a guiding principle for all smooth jazz artists
how music is to produce, to arrange and to perform.