August 12, 2020

SMOOTH JAZZ – Chuck’s the Man

Chuck Loeb & Friends (by Art Tatta)

At the Lyman Center on Friday, April 13th, I was able to enjoy a fantastic evening at Chuck Loeb and Friends.  What a show!  The lineup was:

From left: Chuck Loeb, Mark Egan, and Harvey Mason (by Art Tatta)

Chuck Loeb & Friends:

Guitar – Chuck Loeb

Drums – Harvey Mason

Sax – Everett Harp

Bass – Mark Egan

Keyboards – Matt Singer

Vocals – Lizzie Loeb

Vocals – Carmen Questa

Guest Vocals- Michael Franks

The warm spring day was only made that much better by spending 2 ½ hours with Chuck Loeb, Michael Franks, and a group of top-shelf musicians with credits as long as your arm.  From the minute they walked out on stage, the audience was well aware that this was going to be a real treat.  We all knew what to expect:  easy listening, smooth jazz.  But what really made this more than a smooth jazz concert were Everett Harp’s sax solos, Harvey Mason’s consistent percussions, the back beat bass of Mark Egan, fabulous keyboards of Matt Singer and, of course, Chuck’s wailing guitar.

Everett Hard on the saxophone (by Art Tatta)

Harvey Mason (by Art Tatta)

There were brief departures from Chuck’s & Friends.  Chuck’s daughter Lizzie brought her contemporary flair to the night.  Lizzie played guitar and sang an original unnamed composition inspired by the movie  “Inception.”   We were also treated to the Brazilian tempos of singer (and Chuck’s wife) Carmen Questa.

From left: Lizzie Loeb, Carmen Questa, Michael Frank (by Art Tatta)

After a brief intermission, Michael Franks joined the group.  As Chuck Loeb put it in his introduction of Franks, this is the man responsible for our music genre – “smooth jazz.”

And yes indeed, Michael Franks is probably the most laid back performer I have ever seen on stage.  Each of his songs was as familiar to me as a relaxing afternoon on a summer’s day.  Lyrics that stick in your head forever and vocals that are as smooth as honey.  In addition to simply loving each and every song of Franks’, I really enjoyed watching the musicians on stage who seemed to be loving Franks’ performance just as much as the rest of us.