This self-produced DVD is a gem, with over an hour of straight ahead, guitar trio jazz featuring Chuck Anderson, a virtuoso player who is sheer pleasure to hear. The disc aims to recreate a live performance by showcasing Anderson’s group in a nightclub setting, with high definition sound and clear, simply structured video imaging that gives a sense of “being there,” without distracting from the music itself.
If you put the DVD on a home theater system, you can sit down and take it all in—or you can have a meal or a cocktail with a guest and imagine you’re at a night club. And if you are a serious musician, you can study it carefully for its musical nuances. Anderson is a consummate musician and mentor from whom almost any guitarist could learn a great deal. Eric Schreiber on 5-string bass and Ed Rick on drums and percussion provide perfect foils. At times the group functions almost as one instrument: its playing is that well-coordinated.
Chaplin’s Music Cafe is an off the beaten track venue located in Spring City, PA northwest of Norristown, within an hour of Philadelphia, Wilmington or Trenton. It features diverse musical genres from folk to pops, interspersed with periodic appearances of fine jazz musicians. Its black stage background interspersed with stars of light provides an unobtrusive frame for the musicians. The audience is respectful, perhaps because the performance is being recorded, and there is virtually no sound from chat or clinking glasses, only polite applause.