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Presence

Chuck Loeb

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Album Review

Though he occasionally branches out into other styles, Chuck Loeb is at heart, a pop-oriented smooth jazz guitarist. Presence finds Loeb smack in the middle of his comfort zone. "Llevame" adds some Latin percussion and murmured female vocals, "The Western Sky" incorporates a vaguely new age synth wash, and "The Music Outside" flirts a bit with quiet storm R&B, but at heart, this is utterly straightforward smooth jazz with Loeb's laid-back, tasty soloing front and center. Even the pair of pop covers, Steely Dan's "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and James Taylor's "Shed a Little Light," are transformed into showcases for Loeb's inimitable style. Unapologetically mellow and buffed to a high-sheen gloss, Presence is smooth jazz for folks who think they just don't make smooth jazz records like this anymore.

Biography

Born: 12 July 1955 in Suffern, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A skillful guitarist capable of playing any style of music, Chuck Loeb's own solo projects have generally been commercially successful crossover jazz, which has been classified through the years as "contemporary" or "smooth" jazz. He started playing guitar when he was 11; discovered jazz when he was 16; took lessons from Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and Joe Puma; and attended the Berklee College of Music. Loeb freelanced in New York (with Hubert Laws, Chico Hamilton, and Joe Farrell, among others) and...
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Presence, Chuck Loeb
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