Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Metro: Express

Metro is the kind of jazz band they dig in Europe. Evidence, you say? That continent is where the quartet hangs its hats for the most part during summer gigs. As a contemporary jazz band on the hard-fusion side, Metro presents an appealing formula (or anti-formula, if you will)-rock guitar licks, free-form madness and even an occasional soft spot with gentle jazz such as on “The Standard.” You can find it all in one tune, “Tell Me a Thousand Times.” Of course, Metro has two big things going for it: a fanbase built over five CDs, and four of the most respected musicians on any part of the globe. Guitarist Chuck Loeb, keyboardist Mitchel Forman and drummer Wolfgang Haffner have been on board from the beginning, with a revolving bass chair helmed by Anthony Jackson, Victor Bailey and Mel Brown.

A new bassist is on board now, and he doesn’t need much of an introduction: Will Lee, the king of the bottom end and longtime presence of The Late Show with David Letterman. As a Loeb fan from way back, I always enjoy his new compositions: “Rio Frio” is lyrical and “Maikl Burekka” allows him to show off his acoustic side. But it’s tunes like “Up Above the Stars” and “Absynth Blues” that grab you by the shoulders, where Loeb absolutely freaks on hard-rock guitar solos not for the squeamish.

Originally Published