Friday, April 8, 2016

Jeff Chaz -- "Sounds Like The Blues To Me"

I first became acquainted with the music of Jeff Chaz in 2006, when I was the Sunday night DJ at KJLU 89.5 fm in Jefferson City MO. One week in September I stumbled across his song "Morning Coffee." The thing that hooked me on Jeff Chaz, besides his obvious chops, was his sincerity--listening to him it sounded like he didn't take himself too seriously. "Morning Coffee" sounded great that night in a playlist next to songs by Geoff Achison, Blue Soul, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones and Shemekia Copeland. 

Jeff Chaz has been a blues guitarist for half of his life. Based in New Orleans, he started out playing trumpet and then trombone, but soon switched to guitar. Chaz also sings and writes songs. On this cd, he wrote all the songs, one with Steve Lowry. Everything was recorded at Radionic Studio in Jefferson Louisiana. This time out Chaz sings and plays guitar, joined by Doug Therrien and David Hyde on bass, Doug Belote, Allyn Robinson and Willie Panker on drums, John Autin on Hammond B-3 organ and piano, A J Pittman on trumpet and Ward Smith on saxes. 

In 2013 Chaz released a cd "Chronicles" which revived some of those old songs, including "Morning Coffee." This is the first cd of new music since 2006's "Jeff Chaz In Exile." The guitar work is top notch, as it usually is with Jeff Chaz. The band is tight and loose at the same time. Regular readers here will know I love a band with a horn section, so I like hearing that. But the best thing about this release are the songwriting and vocals. They are what sets Chaz apart from most everybody else. Two examples--there's a song here "I'm Goin' After Moby Dick In A Rowboat" with a line "...and I'm bringing the tartar sauce." He might be setting off on a hopeless mission, but still, if he is successful he will be ready. Another example is in a song "Will You Be Mine" where the lyrics are nothing very special but he sings in the upper part of his range--just a simple thing like that. It communicates the anxiety and fear behind the title question without a doubt. And on both these songs, the guitar is just terrific.

One listen and you'll be glad you bought this cd.

Buy it at

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