Chuck Loeb

The Music Inside

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A splash of variety and all-star panache elevates Chuck Loeb's The Music Inside above the typical play it safe pop-jazz date. Smooth overall but just punchy enough in all the right spots, the disc tends to surprise at the very moment its grooves start sounding too comfortable. After a relaxing take on Babyface's languid "Breathe Again," for instance, Loeb goes the streetsmart bluesy route with the horn drenched "Steffi's Strut." Other cool continental shifts include a breezy Eastern tinge, a crazed Latin attitude with the help of Michel Camilo's trademark ivory bounce, and even tinges of classical influence. The very Sanbornesque ballad "Equal Time" features that notoriously brilliant soundalike, saxman Andy Snitzer, surrounded by the piano harmonics of Sanborn's old cohort Michael Colina. Nelson Rangell, Eddie Daniels and Mitchel Forman round out the celeb input in a setting which shows that while Loeb is stellar on both acoustic and electric strings, his greatest contribution to the genre is his compositional diversity.

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