Steve Allen’s songs provide a starting point for the Bob McChesney Quartet to hand out a healthy portion of its modern mainstream stew. Combining the trombone’s somber timbre with an excellent rhythm section, McChesney elaborates on each fundamental melody. All ten songs are by Steve Allen, but they were written at various points in his career. Yes, Allen has written over 8,000 now.
Throughout the session, plenty of time is allotted to solo time from pianist, bassist, and drummer. But it’s McChesney’s session, and he is in fine form. The trombonist disguises the melody of a blues based "Chittlins" by taking it at breakneck speed. The superb articulation and tricky positioning heard on this number should be taught in clinics. Actually, it is. McChesney, 44, is a working clinician as well as a studio musician and member of the Bob Florence Limited Edition big band in Los Angeles. One of Allen’s more recent songs, "Road Rage" is purposely up-tempo and pushy. McChesney’s trombone is at its best in this hard bop tradition, while the arrangement allows room for piano and drums to step up. There’s nothing like a powerful drum solo to express road rage. McChesney’s driving mainstream jazz session makes no reference to Steve Allen’s celebrity comedian status other than the album’s title. Fortunately, the trombonist has chosen for his recording debut to drive straight ahead.
Track Listing: Meet Me Where They Play the Blues; Time; Road Rage; Pretty People; Chittlins; Steve
Personnel: Bob McChesney- trombone; Matt Harris- piano; Trey Henry- bass; Dick Weller- drums.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.