The Moon, The Stars and the Setting Sun

Original Release Date:

January 20, 1998

Reviewed by
Harvey Cline
April 2008

Recorded a decade ago, this one still sounds as fresh as when it was first released. You could definitely call this a project as each song title reflects the same theme as the curious title of the disc. The music moves, and is structurally appealing as it moves to each interesting phrase.

The haunting, repeated phrasing serves as a back drop to Loeb's guitar on the opening track called "Just Us." His active guitar is lively and crisp throughout. He continues to build momentum as this one comes to a climatic ending. It's always a fun one to see played in concert. "Beneath the Light" is the next track and uses dynamic phrasing to make for a very interesting number. It's a great follow up to the first track with Benson-like riffs that I know you’ll enjoy. "Hand in Hand" is a little darker in the approach and features Andy Snitzer on sax as this opens up a little bit from the initial offering. Loeb’s wife Carmen Cuesta and Rob Mathes are brought in for background vocals.

James Taylor’s "Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" comes off well. Nelson Rangell's sax adds a little spice to the mix. Chuck plays this one straight up and does the original proud. The one vocal here is a number written by Loeb and bassist Will Lee entitled "The Stars." Carmen once again graces the words while Chuck plays along on acoustic.  My favorite has to be the rousing "Above Us." A short driving intro leads into a very methodical, syncopated set of riffs which builds for quite a bit before cascading back down with accented vocal. Bob James is featured with some very nice piano work that he is so famous for. The climb begins again as it reaches an exciting finale. "Shine On" is more laid back in its approach. Snitzer is back on soprano this time. The phrasing is very good for Loeb and is further enhanced by the sax. "While We Speak" picks up where the previous leaves off. Snitzer picks up his tenor this time instead. Loeb’s electric shines and sounds as fresh as ever.

The light and lively "....of Love and the Setting Sun" keeps things simple while all along weaving a nice melody that you’ll really enjoy. Loeb is featured extensively here, and does some of his best work. Jon Werking’s piano is a nice touch. "Water Runs Dry" finishes up the disc. It’s a very simple song that has Loeb on acoustic this time with very little background. It has that same hooK that makes so many of his songs fun to listen to. They have character and feel like they are leading you some place you want to go.

You may not have this one in your collection or may not have some of Chuck Loeb’s earlier material. This is sure one to get or dust off. There are a lot of timeless gems here that I know you’re sure to enjoy. It was fun just going back and hearing this one again.