Berks Jazz Fest 2007: Chuck Loeb & Friends

Berks07_Loeb.jpgSunday afternoon it was WJJZ 97.5's turn to host a Fan Appreciation Concert featuring Chuck Loeb plus Gerald Veasley and Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters and Steve Cole (who appeared the previous night as the Sax Pack), once more supported by the great Berks Jazz Fest Horns. The concert was well attended and Chuck Loeb opened the concert just with his band featuring drummer Josh Dion, keyboardist Matt King and bass. Chuck settled comfortably into some of his compositions, among them "E-Bop" and "Presence" from the current CD, displaying his great skills on guitar. He kept things soft and low with his great rendition of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Lonely Tonight", on this song drummer Josh Dion played in the most subtle and sensitive fashion I have seen, later adding some of his soulful singing bringing the song to a rousing end. During the first half of the show special guest and local hero Gerald Veasley came to the stage to play a truly heartfelt rendition of his own "Forever", a song dedicated to his wife having special meaning for him, a fact you could feel! His bass playing was just great and his appearance a welcome addition to this concert. After a short intermission some considerable sax power was added to the show with Kim Waters, then Jeff Kashiwa and lastly Steve Cole stepping on the stage to perform one of their songs, raising the level of energy considerably. All of them are outstanding players and stage personalities, again they couldn't help but making jokes and pulling each others legs, creating a good vibe. During one song the Berks Jazz Fest Horns got their round of solos, especially Mike Anderson on sax stood out proving that he is an artist in his own right. While these artists delivered a high energy show as the Sax Pack the previous night, during this afternoon they showed their softer sides, which yielded some great solos, especially Jeff Kashiwa played a tremendously smooth and heartfelt solo during one of Chuck Loeb's tunes. The last track "Bounce" (from Steve Cole's True album) reunited all artists for a great finale, ending another great show of first rate artists.

(Sorry for the bad picture, but I sat in the back and this was the best I could achieve)