"Just us beneath the light of the moon, hand in hand. Don't let me be lonely tonight. The stars above us shine on while we speak of love and the setting sun." "The water runs dry."
Critics from Jazziz magizine say this CD is "elegant". JazzTimes quotes it as being "masterful". With both, I would agree whole-heartedly. It has been a while since I've been moved so soulfully as this CD has done.
The featured artists on 'the Moon' are Bob James, Nelson Rangell, Andy Snitzer, John Patitucci, Dave Samuels and more. From the first cut, you can tell Bob James had deep influence on this one. If you are a Bob fan as I, you know how his pumpin' groove usually carries the whole set. Chuck utilizes this trick of rythmic proportions to its utmost. Right from the onset, Chuck comes out of the box so smooth he makes you wonder who rubbed on the bottle, brought the Genie, and where this magic carpet ride wil take you.
It is currently #1 on the Gavin and R&B NAC/Jazz Radio Charts.
Track 2, Beneath the Stars, Track 7, Above Us, along with Track 9, While We Speak, pull no punches. "Beneath the Light" contains firey brass stabs and a stroking bass line that will carry the listener through their paces and "Above us" has a "heartbeat" chorus that would drive a sulsa dancer's pulse wild. "While We Speak" speaks of those twilight cruises through the neighborhood park with the woffer's woffin'. Mr. Haffner, the druumer, knows the deal!
These are a group of cuts to be reserved for the I-95 dance.
Try not driving 85 to 90 M.P.H.
The title songs ...of the moon..., ...the stars..., and ...of love and the setting sun, all come together to stur the soul into lovely blends of the same name. A good way to end a long day.
Chuck and his boys (and girl, P.C. you know) go from guitar to sax, to the 'boards' like a rabbit on Easter. With tight interplay and yes, "masterful" mixing and sequencing, it's evident that Chuck has earned the right to have critics say what they have about this CD.
Man, the voice of Carmen Cuesta on "...the stars..." rocks me. I have never heard her before this cut and with the first breeze of her throaty alto cords flowing from my 12 inchers, I was breathless. Where did she come from?
Throughout the CD, Ms. Carmen keeps up with the band of instrumentalists and along with Peter Valentine and Rob Mathes, the trio lay down vocal tracks behind the groove so smooth it's hard to tell where the mechanical and the vocal cords split. Shades of old Metheny? Pat would be proud!
Track 4,...of the Moon, is one of those sleepy tunes you crawl up on the bearskin rugs next to the fireplace with a bottle of wine and your favorite woman. As the two of you rock back and forth, Chuck grabs his axe and plucks out a number that, for me, makes me want to crawl back across the floor and punch repeat every time. (Home girl don't play dat:-) Chuck you got that one!!
5 is a cover of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" (back to home girl) that gives credence to the original. 11 covers Boys to Men. I have heard a cover or two done by jazz artists before. Some are good, some are ok. Some need to be left alone! Chuck's cover of the Boys is BEAUTIFUL. Listen for this one at my wedding. If it don't bring the water, I don't need to be getting married. No water run dry? I think not!