Bill McGee – Chase The Sunset

Bill McGee
Chase The Sunset
(Bill McGee Music – 2007)
by Ray Redmond

If the third time is a charm then Chase the Sunset is indeed the charm for Bill McGee. This 3rd Solo Smooth Jazz CD from trumpeter, flugelhornist, and multi-instrumentalist, Bill McGee follows the mold of “This One’s 4U” and “Soul Man”. Bill adds five smooth originals to a blend of seven R&B/Soul cover songs to create a sweet blend of listening tracks.

Chase the Sunset includes covers of Stevie Wonder’s – “I Wish” featuring Mike Spratley (vocals) on the last chorus and Brandon Lane on bass, Brandon’s a 13 year old prodigy making his recording debut on this cut and Earth, Wind and Fire’s – “Keep Your Head To The Sky”. McGee’s “Go Outside In the Rain” is sensuous and smooth, evoking the wailing moods of the original soul hit.

The title song “Chase The Sunset” is a mood setter, the kind of song that you rewind to keep your groove smooth. Another song to check is Bill’s cover of “I Like The Way You Move”, featuring Neo-DooWop group Bak N Da Day on vocals, this version of the song is classic. Bill is a great multi-instrumentalist and does all of the rhythm tracks except guitar and all of the brass work, when combined with the smooth blending of Bak N Da day, Saxsmo’s intense sax solo and Tom Reaves’ great guitar work, this song becomes one of the best.

The star of this CD is “Gold Baby”, a tight groove that features Bill, Saxsmo, and Tom Reaves getting down with a fun and funky groove. The call and response on this song will have you singing along even though it’s an instrumental. This song is dedicated to Bill McGee Sr. of Chicago, IL who was nick named Gold Baby at birth because his mother paid the hospital with Gold coins back in 1927. (The Gold was given to her by her husband, the famous gospel music pioneer, Bishop F.W. McGee, who was out of town when Bill, Sr. was born).

Another great track is the Earth, Wind and Fire Classic “Keep Your Head To The Sky” featuring Shawn Chappelle (“People Make The World Go Round”). Inspiration for this song came from the arrangement by Maysa. The songs “Chill” featuring popular smooth jazz guitarist and recording artist, Jim Adkins and “Kickin & Screamin” featuring pianist Debo Daney, are just as note worthy.

This is a baaaaaad CD. Get it.