Metro is a group or better said a project created in 1994 by Chuck Loeb and Mitchel Forman, who are friends since their work for Stan Getz. The group was joined by German drummer Wolfgang Haffner. In this constellation the group exists till today. First bassist of Metro was Anthony Jackson (1994), followed by Victor Bailey (1995), Mel Brown (2002) and now Will Lee (2007). After their debut album Metro (1994) the band has released Tree People (1995), Metrocafé (2000), Grapevine (2002), Live At The A-Trane (2006) and Express (2007).

The group Metro is a constant factor in the contemporary jazz scene. Their music is ambitious and doesn't sneak a look on the smooth jazz market. So you will not find Metro's music in the smooth jazz charts. Nevertheless Metro's music is entertaining and gripping. Metro performs without platitudes. That makes them unique and memorable.

Starter of the album is The Red Fish. Chuck displays the introducing melody with some edges while Mitch develops the melodious counterpart. In the last part of the tune the group changes style and tempo to a jazzy interpretation. Mitch expands his piano performance to a wild demonstration of his mastership.

Tell Me A Thousand Times reveals the smooth side of the group with a captivating theme. Since Bruce Hornsby this kind of piano art is my secret love. Chuck adds his own electric guitar sound  but not in the way he uses to play on his own solo albums. His guitar sets a raw counterbalancing component.

Pat Metheny is in the air. Rio Frio follows the road Pat has build. Loeb's guitar performance is subtle, multilayered and breathtaking complex. The same is to say about Mitch's piano virtuosity.

On Maikle Burreka Metro presents their own view of Africa. A multi-colored explosion of African Spirit in the tradition of South African township music (Yashelela Africa/ Ubuhle be Africa).

Express is a synonym for rapidity and dynamic. A specialty of drummer Wolfgang Haffner, often shown on his own solo projects. He composed this tune and propels the group with his constant drive. The mid-tempo Sloth is an excursion into relaxing atmosphere with an acceleration to the end.

If you want to attend a concert of Chuck Loeb as a Rock star, listen to Up Above the Stars to get the first taste. Chuck fascinates with mighty chords on his distortion guitar. This part is embedded in a mysterious sound collage created by wizard Mitchel Forman.

The contemplative face of Metro shines on Nuna. Chuck in a Wes Montgomery-like attitude, Mitch's keyboard magic, Will's sensible bass and Wolfgang's brush technique are spell bounding. The up-tempo Absynth Blues tests the borders of fusion jazz.

Bassist Will Lee is known for his discrete performance. Jason Miles comments: "He is a superior musician who constantly makes everyone around him sound better. I can say that he is the ultimate bass player who blends rather than take the lead. Nobody can propel a rhythm section like Will. He may not stand out like Marcus, Victor, Stanley but if you ask any of those players their opinion on Will they will give him glowing remarks knowing the effect he has had on bass players through the years." That said enjoy Will's bass play on The Standard.

On the stunning final Slow Down Will Lee showcases his groovy vocals and puts the frosting on your cake. Awesome and so charismatic.

Metro did it again. Fans of contemporary jazz don't worry, you have found your Christmas gift.




  • Bio
  • Metro's website
  • CD available here:
  • Title: Express
    Artist: Metro
    Year: 2007
    Length: 1:11:50
    Genre: Contemporary Jazz
    Label: Marsis Jazz

    01 The Red Fish [7:49]
    02 Tell Me A Thousand Times [6:14]
    03 Rio Frio [7:08]
    04 Miakl Burrekka [7:41
    05 Express [5:10]
    06 Sloth [5:18]
    07 Up Above the Stars [7:36]
    08 Nuna [5:14]
    09 Absynth Blues [5:10]
    10 The Standard [5:44]
    11 Slow Down [8:10]