Chuck Loeb

When I'm With You

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    7
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Guitarist Chuck Loeb retreats slightly from the somewhat progressive nature of eBop on When I'm With You. While displaying more of his deft and charming guitar chops, the album is largely a by-the-numbers smooth jazz album. Where his previous effort combined some post-bop flair into his contemporary instrumental pop compositions, here we get a nice if predictable version of "The Girl From Ipanema," a pleasingly moody title-cut ballad with vocalist Carmen Cuesta and the funky, gospel-tinged slo-jam "And Then Some" featuring some supple sax moments. While the step-back is somewhat disappointing, longtime fans of Loeb should have nothing to complain about.

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