Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bob McChesney - Chez Sez (2015)

Bob McChesney

Bob McChesney – trombone
Bob Mintzer - tenor saxophone
Larry Goldings – piano, Hammond B-3 organ
Darek Oleś – bass
Bill Stewart – drums

Chez Sez

MoCo 23-04

By John Sunier

Well-hidden in the movie and television studios of Southern California is slide trombonist Bob McChesney. Connoiseurs of the slide trombone would know of Bob, but the casual jazz fan would not be apprised of McChesney’s prowess. Further, Bob is a master of the "doddle tongue", a method of articulation that enables him to play ultra fast.

McChesney has kept both active in the studio, and as an integral member of Bob Florence’s big band, but his only issue as a group leader was many years ago in a tribute CD to Steve Allen. Both in film work and in some of TV’s favorite cartoon shows ("The Simpson’s", "Family Guy", "Futurama", etc.), McChesney was the slide trombonist, who helped with soundtracks. He also is a first-call sideman for vocal artists recording in LA.

His new CD, "Chez Sez", provides the opportunity for jazz fans to appreciate his talents. Backed by Larry Goldings (who wrote/co-wrote three of the eleven tracks), bassist Darek Oleś and drummer supreme, Bill Stewart, the quartet is expanded to a quintet on five songs by Yellowjacket’s tenor saxist, Bob Mintzer. The tracklist is a mixture of original compositions plus standards from Cole Porter, Dave Brubeck, Jerome Kern and Nat Adderley. What is evident immediately on this issue is the melodic lines from Bob. His playing is fast, but melodic and clearly enunciated. You can clearly see why he is the "go to" guy for studio work.

"You May Have It Wrong", written by Bob, opens the CD, and Mintzer makes a fine mate as they blend warmly. "Naturally" is a beautiful ballad and "The Preakness", co-written by Bob and Larry, intrigues as it makes you wonder, if they are horse racing fans. Goldings is first-rate on the Hammond B-3 and the tune’s funk quotient is high. "Yesterdays" is proof positive of McChesney’s talents. It would touch the hardest heart. The title track has the tenor and trombone cook. Brubeck’s "In Your Own Sweet Way" is easily identifiable and McChesney puts his stamp on this winning version. The standards, "I Should Care" and "Love For Sale" close out the CD. On the latter, Bob’s tonguing is so crisp and clear, that you would swear that you’d never heard a trombone tone so pristine. This CD is something special.

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