Chuck Loeb – Presence – Heads Up

by | Jan 4, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Chuck Loeb – Presence – Heads Up HUCD 3117, 57:24 **** [Release date: Jan. 26]:

(Chuck Loeb, guitars, keyboards, fender & synth bass, drum programming; Matt King, piano & organ; Mike Ricchiuti/Tom Schumann, piano & Rhodes; Will Lee/Ron Jenkins/Brian Killeen/Carl Carter, bass; Dave Mann, reeds; Andy Snitzer, alto sax; Josh Dion/Wolfgang Haffner, drums and percussion; Till Brönner, trumpet & Flugelhorn; Nathan Ecklund, trumpet & trombone; Mitchel Forman, strings; Carmen Cuesta, vocal on Llevame)

Chuck Loeb is more than just a guitarist, he’s a Renaissance man of music – a composer, arranger and producer in many areas of music. He played with Stan Getz, Chico Hamilton and Hubert Laws. He has been involved in production with Spyro Gyra, Larry Coryell and others, done scores for TV programs and movie soundtracks – including The Untouchables. Loeb wanted to stress the human element in his new album, getting away from doing things long distance and without all the players being together in the studio.

Various of the above-listed sidemen are heard on different tracks in different combinations – sometimes in as modest an aggregation as the duo of Loeb and bassist Will Lee on Window of the Soul. Some of the tunes come from Loeb’s favorite artists, some are created together with other collaborators and some are his originals. One track is a collaboration with his wife Carmen, who hails from Madrid and has done some CDs of her own. They wrote Llevame together years ago and revived it for this session. Unlike many jazz albums where one or two tracks feature the wife or girlfriend and ruin the whole album, this one is a delight and I wanted to hear more!

Loeb’s version of the Steely Dan hit Rikki Don’t Lose That Number is also a delight, supplied with many clever instrumental details and riffs just like his heroes Fagen & Becker would do. Loeb’s The Western Sky sounds like a bit of soundtrack from a Western run thru a dreamy Southern California processor. Mr. Martino is obviously a tribute to the great Pat Martino, and Loeb shows off his own guitar chops at the beginning and end; the middle going to a sparkling solo from pianist King. The closer is a James Taylor tune done in a jovial upbeat manner, but none of the tracks get raucous in this smoothly swinging fusion jazz outing.

TrackList: Good To Go; Rikki Don’t Lose That Number; Window of the Soul; Starting Over; Llevame; Presence; The Music Outside; The Western Sky; Hangin’ With You; Mr. Martino; Shed a Little Light

– John Henry

 

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