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Chucky C & Clearly Blue - From New Orleans to the World

 

Charles Elam III, a/k/a Chucky C, is the kind of journeyman saxophonist who can easily take the lead role in a back-up band for a headlining artist or MC an opening set and leave listeners wondering, “Just who IS that saxophone cat? He’s pretty darn good all on his own.” And it’s true, whether backing a well-known recording artist or fronting his own combo, as he does here, Chucky C is truly a standout.

Just the list of his performing and recording credits is pretty amazing: Percy Mayfield, O.V. Wright, and Syl Johnson; Edie Brickell, Maria Muldaur, and Bo Diddley; Irma Thomas, Marva Wright, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, and Aaron Neville.

And the résumés of his band members in Clearly Blue are equally impressive (including gigs with Gatemouth Brown, The Neville Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Percy Sledge, Allen Toussaint, and Buddy Miles, just to name a few).

Together, they create a seamless blend of smoothly rendered, nightclub R&B with distinctive jazz and blues touches, occasionally mounting musical forays into the straight blues (with Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man”), slinky R&B jazz (Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” with Chucky C on lead flute), and full-bore R&B (“Untouchable Glide,” Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”).

In all cases, what Chucky C and Clearly Blue offer are expertly played ensemble arrangements with smokin’ solos and locked-in back-up grooves, the kind of flawless funk that goes perfectly with a smoke filled room, beautiful women dressed to the nines, and a full glass of top-shelf libation sitting in front of you..

 

 

THE BLUES ARE ALRIGHT

FUNKY MAMA

LET’S STRAIGHTEN IT OUT

HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN

MOON DANCE

UNTOUCHABLE GLIDE

STAND BY ME

TOO MANY COOKS

NEXT TIME

STROKIN’

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