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Film Review

Chuck Anderson Trio: Live at Chaplin’s Music Cafe


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Chuck Anderson Trio

Live at Chaplin's Music Cafe

Self Produced


This self-produced DVD is a gem, with over an hour of straight ahead, guitar trio jazz featuring Chuck Anderson, a virtuoso player who is sheer pleasure to hear. The disc aims to recreate a live performance by showcasing Anderson's group in a nightclub setting, with high definition sound and clear, simply structured video imaging that gives a sense of "being there," without distracting from the music itself.

If you put the DVD on a home theater system, you can sit down and take it all in—or you can have a meal or a cocktail with a guest and imagine you're at a night club. And if you are a serious musician, you can study it carefully for its musical nuances. Anderson is a consummate musician and mentor from whom almost any guitarist could learn a great deal. Eric Schreiber on 5-string bass and Ed Rick on drums and percussion provide perfect foils. At times the group functions almost as one instrument: its playing is that well-coordinated.

Chaplin's Music Cafe is an off the beaten track venue located in Spring City, PA northwest of Norristown, within an hour of Philadelphia, Wilmington or Trenton. It features diverse musical genres from folk to pops, interspersed with periodic appearances of fine jazz musicians. Its black stage background interspersed with stars of light provides an unobtrusive frame for the musicians. The audience is respectful, perhaps because the performance is being recorded, and there is virtually no sound from chat or clinking glasses, only polite applause.

The DVD consists of 13 tracks or "chapters" easily accessed from the menu. It includes renditions of standards such as "Moanin,'" "Manha de Carnaval," "I Remember You," "Milestones" and "When Sunny Gets Blue," as well as Anderson originals such as "Mystique," "In a Misty Glow" and "The Enchanted Garden." While the music definitely swings, listen especially for the quieter moments of "Carnaval" and "When Sunny Gets Blue," where Anderson's long-time goal of making the electric guitar serve as a "classical" instrument is manifest in exceptional sound, articulation and a degree of precision reminiscent of a Segovia or Barrueco.

Tracks: Moanin'; Black Orpheus; There Will Never Be Another You; Lover Man; Mystique; In a Misty Glow; My One and Only Love; Spring Rain; The Enchanted Garden; Mercy Mercy Mercy; When Sunny Gets Blue; I Remember You; Milestones.

Personnel: Chuck Anderson: guitar; Eric Schreiber: bass; Ed Rick: drums.

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