The latest release
from bassist Gerald Veasley is titled Your Move.
The cover shows Veasley super imposed between several chess pieces,
and it looks like he’s on the move. It is his first studio
release in several years while making quite a statement. Joined
by producer/guitarist Chuck Loeb, this one takes on a different
feel than his previous releases.
The first song is an “in your face” kind of bass song that Gerald
rarely performs because he enjoys showcasing the rest of the band. Penned by
Loeb, this one starts the disc off right, and sets the tone for the rest of the
others. Aptly titled “Hear Now”, it features Veasley throughout while
he generates infectious riffs and addictive syncopated runs. Loeb is on hand
with guitar, keys, and drums. The first single is one that you’ve probably
been hearing on the radio. It’s another Loeb tune that has his distinct
sound. “Slip and Slide” has that easy going beat to it as Chuck and
Gerald play off of each other through the entire piece. “So Close to the
Sun” slows the pace down somewhat and is a little darker in its delivery.
John Swana’s muted trumpet plays well with Veasley’s echoing bass.
It continues to grow as it reaches the end. One of my favorites is the upbeat
and happy “Greenwood.” Named for the area of South Carolina where
many of his relatives live, this one is fun to listen to. Chris Farr’s
soprano leads the way through most of this one, but it still features some great
work by Veasley as well.
The title track is a lively, moving, upbeat Loeb number. Farr
leads in again with the intro and chorus, while Loeb brings in
his own synth bass, guitar, and keys. This one is catchy and
I think you’ll be hearing more from it as
the summer passes. Veasley keeps the groove going as it “moves” off
into the sunset. “Cross Currents” may be one of the most interesting
ones here style wise. It is a tribute to the late Grover Washington, Jr. and
Joe Zawinul who founded Weather Report who passed away this last summer. Gerald
wrote this one with a lot of heart, and plays his six string throughout. “I
always thought that it would be interesting to write a song that would have influences
of having worked with both of them.” Listen carefully and you’ll
hear a little bit of each.
"Thank You” is a take on the 1970 classic from Sly and The Family
Stone. This one comes off well, and is a lot of fun. I know you’ll enjoy
this one live. “Traveling Light” is co-written by Veasley and Loeb.
It slows the pace down a little while featuring both artists through most of
the composition. “Roxanne’s Dance” finishes off the set with
a romantic song dedicated to his wife by the same name. Gerald’s five string
acoustic bass is featured extensively while being highlighted by Farr’s
tenor. It continues to build, while finishing to an emotional ending. Check mate.
Gerald Veasley brings so much to this release. The addition of
Chuck Loeb brings another dimension to the mix that adds a new
flair. It’s great that they’re
both “string” players and understand what it means to play great
music. It’s a nice combo. Now that you’ve read the review, it’s Your
Move to pick up a copy soon.