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Chuck Loeb (1955–2017)

by Kirk Fox

Jazz guitarist played with Stan Getz, Steps Ahead, and Fourplay…

Chuck Loeb, a highly regarded jazz guitarist who worked with Stan Getz and Steps Ahead, has died of cancer, according to Jazz Times magazine. He was 61.

His family reported that Loeb died Monday, July 31, 2017.


Bassist Will Lee, who was a member of the house band for “Late Night With David Letterman” and was an associate of Chuck Loeb, paid tribute to the guitarist in an email to Jazz Times:

“The music scene has suffered a devastating blow. Master guitarist and composer Chuck Loeb was so musical, he was one of those big-eared geniuses that heard the music in everyone and everything around him. Playing with Chuck on so many occasions, I can tell you that he had a way of utilizing my talents to get just what he needed out of me. May Chuck’s incredible spirit be remembered in his music for all time.”

Toto guitarist Steve Lukather paid tribute to Loeb on Twitter: “I was honored to know him and the most kind -sweet man ever. Incredible composer and Guitarist ! Damn…. RIP….”

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Loeb was born Dec. 7, 1955, in Nyack, New York. He took up the guitar, and by the age of 13, he was playing in local bands. After high school, he attended Berklee College of Music for two years and then went to New York City to pursue a music career.

In New York, Loeb played with Chico Hamilton and Freddie Hubbard. In 1979, jazz legend Stan Getz asked Loeb to be a member of his band. He played with Getz for five years and then formed the band Metro, which released several albums in the 1990s.

For a time, he was a member of the jazz fusion group Steps Ahead, which featured saxophonist Michael Brecker. In 2010, Loeb took the place of Larry Carlton in the smooth-jazz supergroup Fourplay. He toured and recorded with the band for many years.

Loeb released multiple solo albums and toured with his own band. He was also a composer of music for film and television. He composed the theme music for “CNN Headline News,” “Nightline,” the New York Yankees, and the New York Knicks.

According to a 2005 article in Jazz Times, Loeb was a big fan of Bob Dylan and played with his idol in a guest appearance at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. He told the Jazz Times, “The first song I ever learned on guitar was ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ Dylan turned to me after one solo and said, ‘Yeah, Chuck,’ and I thought, ‘OK, I can die now!’”

Loeb is survived by his wife, singer Carmen Cuesta Loeb, and daughters Lizzy and Christina.

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