San Diego, California
D. Ellington. This arrangement ® 2014. C. Lougeay.
C. Lougeay ® 2014.
The newest version of The Chris Lougeay Quartet was formed during 2014 in San Diego, California. While I was sailing the high seas on luxury cruise ships around the world, I had a lot of spare time. Writing original music was a creative way to pass the time and there were always musicians around to test new composistions. The result of the past decade of writing is now front and center in the my new jazz quartet.
Featuring guitar, vibraphone, bass and percussion, The Chris Lougeay Quartet is a unique blend of jazz influenced instruments. The pairing of guitar and vibraphone (aka. vibes) is not new in the history of jazz. There have been some outstanding duos to use this format, including the classic Wes Montgomery (G) and Lionel Hampton (V), or more modern Pat Methany (G) and Gary Burton (V). There is something undeniable about how the blend of the two instruments works seamless together.
Those not familiar with the vibes will still recognize it’s distintive sound. It falls in the musical instrument family of pitched percussion. The instrumentalist strikes tuned metal bars that are placed over hollow metal tubes. It is laid out in the same fashion as a piano keyboard. Many people will recognize the vibes wooden cousin, the marimba. It also utilizes a sustain pedal, similar to the piano, to create rich swirling pools of sound that some people even say sound extremely close to the human voice. A talented vibrophonist can use up to four mallets simultaneously to create complex chords and harmonies in additon to playing linear melodies. It is a truly unique and fascinating instrument.
The choice to use percussion instead of the traditional jazz drum kit stems from my time playing with Afro-Rican Ensemble back in Columbus, Ohio. Also during my 2007 tour of Peru, I got to experience first hand the culture from which the Peruvian hand drum, the Cajon, comes from. I love the acoustic sound of wood and there is something very tribal and earthy that resonates well with the pluck of the upright bass.