Album Review of
Live at Chatterbox

Written by Robert Silverstein
February 21, 2024 - 4:55pm EST
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The Indianapolis-based Tucker Brothers are one of the vital jazz-rock fusion bands in the US today. Having released an acclaimed album called Two Parts way back in 2020, the brothers are back on the scene with an intriguing recent live album, released in early 2024 called Live At Chatterbox. With the brothers, Joel Tucker (guitars) and Nick Tucker (bass), receiving able backup from Sean Imboden (sax) and Carrington Clinton (drums), Live At Chatterbox is filled with upbeat, jazz-tinged, high energy instrumental fusion and serves as a fine compliment to the brothers studio album.

Another related album, mostly featuring guitarist Joel Tucker, comes by way of Communal, a studio recording released by Commodore Trio in early 2024 as well. Although only five tracks long, the 30 minute, instrumental fusion CD is a well-recorded showcase for Joel Tucker’s fiery electric guitar skills. Supporting Joel’s guitars on Communal are Brendan Keller-Tuberg (bass) and Justin Clark (drums). In addition to the jazz-rock aspect of the sound, some tracks are more impressionistic and have an intriguing progressive, experimental edge that crosses sonic borders with ease.

Although both of these albums are unique, the live Tucker Brothers album is a good indicator of the power of their live performance, and the Commodore Trio a solid sender of Joel Tucker’s guitar chops. Both albums combine for a full-length picture of the power of the Tucker Brothers – alone and together. Jazz-fusion listeners will find much to like about both the new Tucker Brothers and Commodore Trio albums.

RMR: How different were each these releases? Each presents a unique side of your sound with both The Tuckers Brothers and Commodore Trio. Tell us about these 2024 albums.

Joel Tucker: Both projects are very different in their representation of me as an artist. Actually, the first night of the live album was a complete surprise to the rest of the band (lol) I asked my friend John Babcock to come record us and didn’t tell the rest of the guys. I wanted to keep it more organic that way.

The only two songs we kept from the first night of the recording were “You and the Night and the Music” and “Skylark, the rest were from the second recording date. The first recording was 2/09/23 and the second was 9/13/2023. The songs from the second recording are definitely a bit more rehearsed, but I wanted to keep some of the organic charm of the first recording date on the record.

The second project with the Commodore Trio was totally for fun and recorded on 3/25/2023. I just wanted to go into the studio and make something good with my friends. I was really happy with how all of the mixing and mastering went though so I wanted to share it with the world! I’m actually working on writing a full length for that group...

One thing that’s nice about that band is that we did most of the writing together, that’s why it’s called “Communal” . We worked together as a community to write the songs.