A well respected studio player as well as having recorded with such jazz studded groups as the Phil Norman Tenet and the Bill Watrous and Bob Florence big bands, trombone player Bob McChesney has chosen to honor the compositions of Steve Allen for his maiden album as a leader. This means that there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the play list is comprised of tunes which one doesn't hear all that often, with the exception of "Meet Me where They Play the Blues". Given that Allen wrote more than 8500 tunes, finding some that no one else plays is not all that difficult a task. The bad news is that since it is so easy to find Allen melodies that are rarely played the chances are pretty good many aren't all that interesting. Two tunes for which Allen is especially know for, "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" and "Impossible" are not here. But McChesney and his group do as well as they can with what's on the play list. McChesney is appropriately tender and romantic on "This Is Where We Came In". On the one familiar tune, "Meet Me Where They Play the Blues", McChesney starts off in a tailgate gutbucket trombone style before sequing to a slap tongue, staccato mode followed by a high energy piano solo by Matt Harris. This is the albums' top track. More explosive playing is found on a blues tinged "Chittlins".
McChesney has all the technical equipment and uses these skills well. However, limiting an album to the music of Steve Allen doesn't allow him to demonstrate that he has a feel for the music he's playing since much of this music is pretty shallow stuff. Hopefully for his next album, McChesney will come up with a musical agenda of tunes with greater substance, something that he can sink his improvisional teeth into.
Track Listing: Meet Me Where They Play the Blues; Time; Road Rage; Pretty People; Chittlins; Steve's Blues; Cutie Face; Sultry Samba; This Is Where We Came In; Playing the Field
Personnel: Bob McChesney - Trombone; Matt Harris - Piano; Trey Henry - Bass; Dick Weller - Drums
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.