“What type of music do you play?” Having been with Chaise Lounge since nineteen ninety-something, I hear that question a lot. So far, all the great and near-great minds in and around the band have yet to come up with a clear answer.
OK! Cut to a car dealership in September 2012. My rep, Hugh, who also happens to be a roots-rock bass player and long-time Lounge fan, made a comment about our latest CD, Dot Dot Dot: “You don’t take your fans too far in any one direction.” While not finding that elusive genre I’ve sought for so long, his off-hand remark make me feel a little closer to a possible answer. But my quest continues. If you have an answer to the question “What kind of music does Chaise Lounge play,” let us know in the comments below!
One of the delights of working with Chaise Lounge is its wide range of musical styles. Classical, rock, and jazz songs are grouped together in a way that flows evenly. This time-warped ensemble bounces between decades allowing me to say hello to long lost friends. Remember the 60’s Swingle Singers? If so, look forward to “In Walked Mo.” Heard of Sil Austin? “My Blue Heaven” or “The Best Part of My Losing Streak” will drop you into the middle of a late-night rockin’ nightclub of the 50’s. There’s some 70’s psychedelic flavor lurking in the book under the guise of “You,” and ageless show tunes like “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” One of my favorite styles is the 50’s shuffle rhythm that Tommy encapsulates so beautifully. Think Rat Pack Vegas, a mobbed-up strip hotel, show lounges, smokey wee hours, Keely Smith frowning at Louis Prima, and Sammy Butera and the Witnesses doing their thing. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
There’s a rumor that Charlie has a time machine hidden in his basement. Do you, Charlie? If so, keep it in working order so the rest of us can continue to enjoy the trips hither and yon.
Needless to say I was happy Charlie wanted to have a few Benny Goodman tunes added to the Chaise Lounge “book.” Pete helped in this request by calling either “Seven Come Eleven” or “Wholly Cats” if CL had to play a jump-tune “head” arrangement. The clean lines of BG’s playing both melodies and solos always floated over the chord changes in a natural way but still “swang” like crazy. And, most listeners can hear the BG swing style even when being played by others. I also had the pleasure of working with the late, great rhythm guitarist Steve Jordan. Steve worked with Benny and had many great stories about BG that wound up in Steve’s book, Rhythm Man. Steve said that, when on the road and after a performance, BG would practice late into the night while the rest of his band had anything but practice on their minds. Thanks, Charlie and Pete, for allowing me to perform some of BG’s more familiar tunes with CL.