For some reason, I came across this video today that Carmen Cuesta posted on her YouTube channel on July 25th, 2017, only a few days shy of the incredibly sad andshocking news that her husband Chuck Loeb had passed away on July 31st, 2017. There is another version of this song with her and Chuck sitting on the sofa in their living room, both playing acoustic guitar and Carmen Cuesta singing this song. I chose in favor of this version as it is just a little bit less heartbreaking than the more recent one. I also decided it is probably going to be o.k. to link to his video as she had chosen to upload it publicly, simply saying “So long my dearly beloved” for a caption, but her voice and playing capturing…. the intensity of the moment.
I hope, none of my following words or the mere action of posting this blog will be considered inappropriate or intrusive or anything like that. But I think I feel compelled to say something for a tribute as it now – more than ever – appears to me that there is truly a special element about all of the Loeb family: As they have been enjoying these etraordinary relationships in the family that seem firmly founded in love for each other, the love for music and as that love for humanity, they have also been sharing all this with the rest of us – and sharing this in a most humble, modest way, which ironically – especially now – has so much more impact than all the fanfare of other artists who may have placed more focus on getting attention for themselves. This man – and I’d take the liberty of extending this quality to each of his family members as they all seem kindred spirits in that way – would be a truly wonderful, kind human being first. And he also happened to play the guitar like noone else I’ve ever listened to. The modest approach, which put the song in question first and personal dexterity on the instrument only in the context of making the song shine more is hard to find, I think. It is exactly this element in Chuck Loeb’s entire body of work that I see and hear reiterated through the vast catalogue he leaves behind.
I am also extremely grateful I should have been given the opportunity to interview him in the context of Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2010 and on behalf of SmootJazzNow.com hosted by John Beaudin (who does his own tribute video here; as for the above linking of my own interview: No, I’d never dare to use it as placing a shameless plug on my part, especially at this time. I only do so in the hopes that Lena and I managed to capture some of the kindness that this exceptional artist exuded and to pay my respects that way. From what I hear, everyone who was ever lucky enough to cross paths with him seems to have experienced this wonderful quality in him). I will never forget this unparalleled highlight in my life and how his kind, articulate, soft-spoken, but super attentive – not forgetting super gifted”, of course – man impressed me with his very down-to-earth, natural, accessible personality.
My heart is with his family and the entire family of music lovers around the world, who followed Mr. Loeb’s career in one or the other way. Peace, love and light be always with you and yours!