Put that computer and iPhone down, and go play your guitar. – Chuck Loeb
Sometimes the passing of a legend is shocking and disrupting. However there are other times when you simply feel at peace knowing that someone you love is much better off despite the emptiness that you are feeling. That’s how I feel today. Chuck Loeb succumbed to Cancer today after a battle of years. I am saddened by at the same time happy. Reflecting back on the announcement that Chuck would not be touring this summer with Fourplay. I thought about bad his health must be for him not to be on stage. For someone who decided to be a musician at 13, the stage is the only place you want to be.
Born on December 7th, 1955 in Nyack, NY, Loeb become a sought after side man when Stan Getz asked him to join his band in 1979. He eventually became his musical director and Getz would serve as his best man at his wedding to Carmen Cuesta. It was while working with Getz that Loeb met Mitchel Forman and form Metro. He then went on to for Steps Ahead with Michael Brecker. Of course, to me, it was when he was asked to Larry Carlton in Fourplay that really brought him to my attention. Recently his project with Jeff Lorber and Everette Harp, Jazz Funk Soul just put out their second album More Serious Business last year. Then, of course, there are his solo albums such as The Music Inside, Silhouette, and Unspoken. This didn’t even cover the work that he’s done for film and television. The man was truly inspired.
My favorite Chuck Loeb story comes from the Jazz Times article in 2005 by David R. Adler called At Home.
Despite his many years in the game, Loeb is far from jaded. He’s positively starstruck, in fact, when he recounts a recent guest appearance with Bob Dylan at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Loeb sat in on “All Along the Watchtower,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and two lesser-known songs. “The first song I ever learned on guitar was ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’” Loeb says. “Dylan turned to me after one solo and said, ‘Yeah, Chuck,’ and I thought, ‘OK, I can die now!’”
The issue at Deep Pockets Jazz
Like I said, it was with Fourplay that I really started to get into Chuck Loeb’s work. So it became a discussion point around the station when we got a chance to record Fourplay at the Music City Jazz Festival with Kirk Whalum graciously filling in for him. Is it Fourplay without Chuck Loeb? Sure Chuck wasn’t an original member. Yes, they are billed as Fourplay so they are Fourplay. Ultimately, we decided not to add the songs to our rotation. To me, there is something missing with Loeb’s guitar. However, here they are for you to judge, let us know if we made the right call.
We normally do not feature such long videos on our pages but we are taking the rest of the day off and just keep watching the amazing Chuck Loeb. Rest in Peace and Thank you.