Veteran saxophonist Elliott Chavers 'Covers the Bases' on new CD with jazz, country, blues, and Gospel classics
May 8, 2011 (Victorville, CA) Written by Robert Sutton. It's not a stretch to call saxophonist Elliott Chavers a living legend.
With more than 200 recordings to his credit since he entered the music scene in 1963, Chavers does not know the definition of retirement; it's simply not in his vocabulary.
On his latest album, Covers the Bases, released through Hi Desert Records in California, Chavers continues to do what he excels at, his blessing from above: conveying emotions through his saxophone.
Chavers' skills with the tenor and alto sax have not rusted over the passage of decades; his abilities have aged like the finest of wines. The track listing summarizes Chavers' Texas roots, wherein genre-hopping is the norm. Consequently, the album includes renditions of country, blues, and Gospel classics as well as jazz standards.
But they're not delivered the way that you'd expect. For example, the whiskey sorrow of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" is given a jazz makeover with Chavers' silky, soulful saxophone delivering a bluesy vibe, especially on the instrumental version. Patsy Cline's immortal "Crazy" has a yearning female vocal a la the original; however, Chavers' sax sings the blues. One of the best cuts on Covers the Bases is Chavers' dreamy take on Santo & Johnny's 1959 steel guitar masterpiece, "Sleep Walk"; Chavers' performance is lush and deeply romantic.
According to Chavers, his mother played a significant role in him becoming a saxophonist. "My mother was instrumental in me starting on the Saxophone," Chavers revealed. "She said, because of times being hard, I need something in life to fall back on."
At the age of 13, Chavers was already playing in nightclubs around Waco, Texas and over the years he watched as the music changed around him. "When I started out it was the Big Bands and then small combos. It was all about jazz, blues, and Gospel, but now it's hip hop, rap, etc.," Chavers explained. "This was a major setback, but I have overcome that."
The music on Covers the Bases has nothing to do with trends, but timelessness, which is fitting for an artist who doesn't allow the succeeding years to slow him down. "At this stage in my life, I just continue recording and playing certain jobs," Chavers added.
More Information: http://elliottchavers.com