David Chesky

Club de Sol

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Since the '80s, Chesky Records has been making its mark in three areas: jazz, classical, and Latin music. And over the years, pianist/producer David Chesky (who runs the label with his brother Norman Chesky) has demonstrated that he is quite capable of handling all three. Recorded in 1989, Club de Sol is among David Chesky's jazz outings; essentially, it falls into the fusion category. Those who consider themselves jazz purists insist that fusion isn't really jazz -- they'll tell you that Jaco Pastorius, for example, was strictly a rock instrumentalist and lacked jazz chops (which is absurd). But this instrumental CD is, in fact, jazz, although it's jazz with rock, pop, R&B, and Brazilian elements. Club de Sol isn't the type of fusion that goes out of its way to be cerebral and abstract. David Chesky favors the more lyrical, melodic side of fusion, and he does so in a very Brazilian-minded way. The writing sometimes brings to mind Pat Metheny, who is no stranger to Brazilian-influenced fusion. And another valid comparison (from a compositional standpoint) is Chick Corea, who also has some Brazilian jazz credentials. (Flora Purim and Airto Moreira were both members of Corea's first edition of Return to Forever). As accessible and melodic as Club de Sol is, the CD was too loose and free-spirited for a lot of NAC/smooth jazz radio stations. Those formats shy away from improvisation and spontaneity -- the things that go with having a jazz mentality -- and that meant shying away from Club de Sol. But that doesn't make this CD any less enjoyable.

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