354

Chuck Loeb: Between 2 Worlds

By

Sign in to view read count
Chuck Loeb: Between 2 Worlds As its title suggests, Between 2 Worlds finds guitarist Chuck Loeb's sublimated split personality at last openly revealed. A household name in smooth jazz circles, the former Steps Ahead luminary this time throws the dice with a program heavier on the straight-ahead jazz component that composes the core of his musical upbringing. Does this project mark the dawn of a new beginning, a passage to this other world? Only time will tell.

Customarily dressing the table with a set of his glossy, high-sheen wares, the second half of the program finds the agile guitarist delving into some more substantiated, post-bop-type purlieus, not without the same unbridled enthusiasm and passion that characterizes his pop-jazz work. That said, like those that preceded him in such indissoluble mixing of genres (and aesthetics)—Lee Ritenour being a rather convenient comparison—the final product unfortunately falls flat in the face of artistically more focused covenants. Too much of this, not enough of that, the apanage of the MOR modicum.

From the funky, bluesy stroll of the Robben Ford-tinged "Oh No You Didn't" (featuring daughter Lizzy's soulful vocals) things take a radical turn as Dave Weckl's rollicking kit work introduces the supercharged, intervallic theme of "Let's Play." A brisk minor blues with booming chordal interjections, the piece emphatically celebrates the precise, George Benson/Pat Martino/Mike Stern school of picking.

Halting a brief moment for wife-vocalist Carmen Cuesta's grazing Tom Jobim's tranquil "So Tinha De Que Ser Com Voce," Loeb then launches into the open-strings voicings that open "The Great Hall," a luminous waltz recalling John Abercrombie's mid-70's to mid-80's work that most probably got its title after his former teacher, the great Jim Hall. Though the latter composition is rich enough to endure repeated listening, other tracks may, to some, defy the threshold of tolerance namely, "Hiram," a dedication to the late Hiram Bullock, the title track, and the closing sleeper, "Early Turns To Late."

A deft technician with years studio experience behind him, Loeb demonstrates with Between 2 Worlds that his straight-ahead fretwork certainly needs to be reckon with, championed even. But, whether learned jazz listeners will buy into such disparate programming remains improbable.


Track Listing: Let

Personnel: Chuck Loeb: guitars; Carmen Cuesta: vocals (2, 4, 7); Lizzy Loeb: vocals (5); Eric Marienthal: saxophones, flute; Till Broenner: trumpet (3); Nathan Eklund: trumpet (4), trombone (1); Brian Culbertson: trombone (1); Pat Bergeson: harmonica (11); Will Lee: bass (1-3, 5); Dieter Ilg: bass (8-11); Gerald Veasley: bass (2, 6); Dave Weckl: drums (1-3, 5-7); Wolfgang Haffner: drums (4, 8, 9-11); Bashiri Johnson: percussions (1-3); David Charles: percussions (5, 7, 10, 11).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Winds Of Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Winds Of Mouth
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!