Chuck Loeb RIP
The “Clark Kent of jazz guitar” dies at 61 from cancer
By Gary Graff
August 1, 2017
Chuck Loeb, the versatile and virtuosic guitarist who played with Stan Getz, Steps Ahead, Fourplay and more, passed away Monday (July 31) at the age of 61 after battling cancer for several years.
The New York state native was inspired by rock acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and more; Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” was the first song he learned to play on guitar.
As a teenager, he became a student of jazz, influenced by Wes Montgomery, George Benson, John McLaughlin and others; he studied in Philadelphia with Dennis Sandole and in New York with Jim Hall and spent two years at the Berklee College of Music before going pro in New York in 1976.
Loeb hooked up with Stan Getz — who was the best man at Loeb’s wedding to vocalist Carmen Cuesta — in 1979, then formed the group Metro with Getz bandmate Mitchel Forman. He joined Steps Ahead during the ‘80s and stepped into replace Larry Carlton in Fourplay during 2010.
Dubbed “the Clark Kent of jazz guitar” by the New York Times for his low-key affectation, Loeb began a solo career with the 1988 release of My Shining Hour and released 21 studio albums under his own name, most recently collaborating with Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Eric Marienthal. He also scored films such as The Untouchables, Hitch and You’ve Got Mail and wrote music for CNN’s Headline News, ABC’s Nightline and programs such as the soap opera One Life To Live, as well as for sports teams such as the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees and Knicks, and ESPN’s NCAA college basketball broadcasts.
His most recent release was the 2016 studio album Unspoken. Memorial details have not yet been announced; Loeb is survived by Cuesta, with whom he’s also worked over the years, and two daughters.