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Velvet by Chris Standring

Funkycool is a befitting adjective used to describe Chris Standring's debut solo release on the Instinct Jazz recording label. I realized that this word is not a word according to Webster's Dictionary, or at least not until he has listened to Chris's brilliant guitar playing on "Velvet". Chris comes out of the box extremely strong with his debut CD co-produced with cjazz trumpeter Rick Braun. Chris studied back home at the London College of Music before hitting the L.A. jazz scene with a vengeance. Working as a free-lance session player in London for ten years; hence Chris was a much sought after sideman here in the U.S. working with Jodey Watley, Omar, Bebe & Cece Winans and The Solsonics. Chris was also a part of the greatest jazz tour of 1996, "Guitar, Saxes and More", featuring Rick Braun, Peter White, Marc Antoine, and Kirk Whalum.

On the title track, the song's crafty drum beat carries the song into its varies movements of Chris's beautiful guitar strumming combining with some sly flute programming to create a most cunning creation. For a special treat, co-producer Rick Braun brings along his distinctive sounding flugelhorn on the "Cool Shades" track. Rick graces us with his silky sounds while Chris changes things up a bit and gives us a little wah-wah guitar effects while matching Rick note for note on this most blissful tune. Saxman Kirk Whalum is featured on my favorite selection, Solitaire. Chris starts the song out with a quiet underling melody and eventually opens up the door for Kirk to showcase his smooth tenor sax playing. These two artists commingle around a common melody and play off of each others vibes to create a truly pleasurable aura.

I've got a feeling that we are going to be hearing much more from this great new guitar player for years to come.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chris Standring
  • CD Title: Velvet
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Instinct Jazz
  • Rating: Five Stars
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