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Recommended Listening With Damian Erskine : Chuck Loeb | “Between 2 Worlds”

Meet Reviewer Damian Erskine –

Chuck Loeb
“Between 2 Worlds”

An uber successful career as leader, side-man and session ace spanning around 40 years has seen Chuck Loeb in most every setting possible.  I do believe that this album reflects that versatility.  Typically, Chuck Loeb is classified as “Smooth Jazz” and I’ll admit it, I have a serious aversion to 99.5% of smooth jazz out there, but I would certainly not classify much of this music as smooth jazz!  “Let’s Play” for example…  A totally burning up-tempo jazz track (Dave Weckl shines on this one) with some guitar work that left my fingers aching a bit.  Chuck’s playing is truly stellar throughout this album.  While a few tracks may have a touch of the hyper-vigilance to detail and production that smooth some edges that (in my opinion) are better left in the rough (ie: smooth-jazz) there are some truly astounding tracks and absolutely entrancing musical moments.  A personal favorite was “The Great Hall” with it’s modern “Waltz for Debby” vibe (and every bit as interesting, I might add) and “Let’s Play” for the sheer testosterone of it all.  While there are some edges I found myself wishing hadn’t been polished quite so much, the playing on this album is undeniable and there really are quite a few fantastic tracks for the “smooth-haters” out there and for those lovers of the smooth…  You will LOVE this album and may even find yourself searching out a few new things after this.  Chuck has struck an astounding balance and may just appeal to a little bit of everyone here…

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