Eighty-four-year old “Uncle Chuck” Trujillo has recorded his debut single, an acid jazz song called “Vegas” about the Rat Pack era of Sin City.
Chuck performs lead vocals on the quirky song in a Tony Bennett style, and Chuck’s son Christopher came up with the trippy Frank Zappa-ish melody. Chuck’s nephew Nick produced the track. Nick hired L.A. musicians Jeff Lewis and David Vasquez for keyboards and horns along with jazz and soul singers Cathy Segal-Garcia and Irene Cathaway for background vocals. The recording was mixed and mastered at Moonlight Studios in Los Angeles, co-owned by Lewis and Vasquez.
A resident of L.A. since his birth in 1927, Uncle Chuck has gone to Vegas often, and he and his kids lived there for several months during the Rat Pack days of the 1960s. His brother Bill, a tenor saxophonist, still lives there and worked in the hotel orchestras on The Strip in his heyday.
“I started writing lyrics a few years ago while sitting in my backyard,” Chuck said. “I was thinking about the old times in Vegas with Sinatra and Sammy Davis, the mafia, and smoke filled rooms, and came up with this song.”
The song appears on Gory Bateson’s recently released album “That is (Still) the Question.” It was featured on Rick Mizuno’s “Indies in Motion” internet radio show the day after it was recorded.
The song will also be the title track of Bill Trujillo’s next album, which is set for release in early October, 2012.
“I just had to have this cool song on Gory Bateson’s recent album,” Nick said. “I am thrilled that my Dad will use it as the title track of his new CD.”