Chuck Loeb

#1 Smooth Jazz Radio Hits

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The title is self-explanatory: guitarist Chuck Loeb has scored no less than a dozen number one hits on radio charts for smooth jazz. He's also played on literally hundreds of records, making him the Tommy Tedesco of the genre. None of that matters very much to his fans, and this collection is clearly assembled for them. While fans of smooth jazz (and what is in the 21st century now called "contemporary jazz") will have enjoyed Loeb's music and may even be familiar with it, it's not so much the individual tracks that matter as the consistent sound and vibe. Early on, Loeb embraced the feel of smooth jazz and became one of its great ambassadors, displaying a knack for writing and producing music custom-tailored to the radio format that was so successful in the 1980s and 1990s (and continues in mutated form in the 2000s). His name has become synonymous with the genre, and the most memorable of his hits have their own timeless quality: "Blue Kiss," "Sarao," "Just Us," and of course, "The Music Inside." Other tracks will be not be especially well known by name but are easily identifiable by sound, including "Tropical," "High Five,"and "Cruzin' South." The slippery, silky backbeat funk Loeb employs as a canvas in his tunes comes across as immediately welcoming and accessible; his guitar lines are always fluid; and his soloing is cut into short, tight pockets. Many of his collaborators are well known in the world of jazz at large as well: John Pattitucci, Jason Miles, Jim Beard, Will Lee, and Nestor Torres are all here, as well as many more. This set is a welcome addition to Loeb's catalog and will likely deeply satisfy any listener who enjoys smooth jazz.

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