No Laughing Matter (Plays Steve Allen)
For more than 20 years, Bob McChesney has been one of the busiest trombonists on the L.A. studio scene, racking up dozens of credits with top-ranking pop and jazz singers and instrumentalists, performing on film and TV recording sessions, and holding down a regular gig with the Bob Florence Limited Edition, on whose last three CDs he was a stunningly impressive soloist. Now, with the help of pianist Mark Harris, bassist Trey Henry and drummer Dick Weller, McChesney presents a bouquet of 10 contrasting beauties from the spacious garden of Steve Allen, perhaps the most prolific songwriter in world history. Opening with "Meet Me Where They Play the Blues," a number more closely associated with Jack Teagarden, McChesney then sails through such varied material as the balladic "Time," "Pretty People," "Cutie Face" and "This Is Where We Came In," as well as the alternately bluesy, swinging and blazing "Road Rage," "Chittlins," "Steve's Blues," "Sultry Samba" and "Playing the Field." But regardless of the tempo or mood, it is McChesney's overall facility that most commends his performances.