Artist: Jeff Chaz
Album: This Silence Is Killing Me
Label: JCP Records
Release Date: 11/04/2016
This marks the second release from New Orleans-based Jeff Chaz within twelve months. With eleven tracks, This Silence Is Killing Me again features mostly self-penned tracks all rich and raucous, full of Chaz’s ripping voice and striking fretwork. Chaz is clearly a guy worth catching, with hints of B.B. King, Albert King and one of his own personal influences, Little Milton, all evident in the mix.
Chaz’s picking moves along with class and precision, hitting cleanly at times – as per Little Milton – and also often underpinned by a fluid, funky feel that is always interesting, arresting and soulful. I recall suggesting that Chaz’s previous album, Sounds Like The Blues to Me was “hi-energy, tough, old solid R&B and blues….” here in Elmore a matter of months ago, and have to say that this can also be easily applied to this latest project.
This album dropped in early November, so can perhaps be excused for having a Xmas dingalong, singalong track, “Merry Christmas To You,” included – the sole track, as it happens, that simply doesn’t work for me. However, looking beyond this sole aberration, it must be said that this is an excellent release that again illustrates just how strong and powerfully grounded in the blues tradition Jeff Chaz really is. This is a bluesman who knows how to serve up a roaring, traditional blues album with a modern punch and a firm hook in the world of old school blues music.