According to Chuck's liner notes, Forever Blue's opening title track was a quick improvisation he dashed off while the engineer was setting up to record. It's a simple basic blues tune, but brightly performed with some spirited embellishments and a light overall playfulness. This sets the tone for the rest of the record nicely; it's not groundbreaking, but it doesn't try to be anything other than 37 minutes of fun ivory-tickling. Never mind the grim bleakness of the cover, it's quite a cheerful little gem. We've got some upbeat boogie ("Walk a Little Closer"), some Southern gospel ("Higher Ground"), and a few beautiful meditative moments made for quiet reflection. And for mood-lifting sunniness, the joyous "A Lotta Colada" stands out as the brightest offering here. As his history (Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones) attests, Chuck's musical personality is permanently tied to the blues, but the blues aren't always meant to be sad. This shows the joyful side of the coin, and it's one of the nicest quaint treasures I've discovered in a good long time. I'll be getting some mileage out of this.
What a refreshing thing for the ears! Leavell has put together a diverse and satisfying set of tunes that gets better with every listening. The styles range from melodic to latin to boogie, all with a thread of the blues (thus the title). This is a classic, and if it doesn't get a grammy, there is no justice! Buy more than one copy! CAL
When you hear this album you will have a hard time beliving this is solo piano. It is not what you might expect. Not rock based but blues, jazz and N'orleans styles. It is more than the hard piano rifts from Sea Level and Gov't mule. Totally entertaining! So enjoyable you'll want to go out and "spread the word". Chuck is a master and I hope he does more solo work.
Chuck Leavell is a superstar Rock and Roll pianist, his work has been heard shining through on albums and tours by the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Gov't Mule, and tons of other superstars. He steps out with this release on his own, with only his piano to express the deep soul that has enhanced the music of so many high profile bands. This CD is a must have for fans of Rock and Roll, Jazz, R&B, and soul.. I recommend it 100%.
I recently heard Chuck Levell on Piano Jazz with Marion McPartland and he played some of the best piano blues and standards I have heard in a long time. It was a wonderful show so I thought I 'd explore his solo recordings. I bought and love this album. It is all instrumental which in a way is too bad because Chuck has a nice singing voice. A one star hit from me due to the length. Many releases these days are similarly scant, but at only 37 minutes I had a need for more when it ended after a sweet rendition of "Georgia On My Mind." The music that is there is wonderful.
Chuck Leavell has been around the horn for a long time! My introduction to Chuck was as a member of the Allman Bros. on "Brothers and Sisters", particularly the unmistakable sound of "Jessica". Immediately, I asked "who's playing that piano?" Been a big fan ever since. I followed Chuck through his years with "Sea Level", a great band. Then I just lost track of him. I just purchased this CD and if you even remotely like piano music, get this CD! The title "Solo Piano" says enough. A great CD to unwind with, relax with a tall glass of iced tea, under the shade of a big ol' magnolia tree, in your favorite chair, lounge, or better yet a comfy hammock! Do yourself a favor and follow those simple instructions...you will NOT be disappointed.
This is a lovely compilation of some off the beaten track music given an unmistakeably Leavell treatment. Leavell demonstrates his mastery of the keyboard on every track but it's his interpretation of Ashokan Farewell that positively sings and nearly always makes me cry.
Mr. Leavell is amazingly versatile and this CD is a wonderful showcase of his talent. It'll probably be a disappointment to a listener who expects Southscape, but for jazz keyboard lovers, it's a gem that I hope will create legions of new Leavell fans.
Great instrumental tracks, to lay back to.....takes you to places where life is more relaxing, and healing.....thank-you 'Chuck Leavell' I was turned on to your music, thanks to an ole musician friend....