All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

379

Chris Standring: Blue Bolero

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Playing jazz in America would serve as a great cover for someone in the witness protection program. A musician can labor at jazz for years and put together a nice body of work, but the music industry, the media, and the public may barely notice in their search for the next teenage pop star.

Chris Standring has never made an album quite like Blue Bolero. Standring could have stayed in a smooth jazz comfort zone of safe and innocuous music. Low risk can mean high reward, but Standring chose to go a different, riskier and far more ambitious route. The result is an album he should be both pleased with and proud of.

Standring doesn't abandon his pop proclivities as much as expand upon them. His guitar playing is fluid and expressive and he's never sounded better or played with more confidence. The term "labor of love" defines Blue Bolero as he plays off against Barbara Porter's robust violin, Dave Karsony's subtly restrained drumming and several other guest musicians providing ample support. What's different is while Standring has always been a professional, he imparts a greater degree of both joy and passion here. He raises the bar from competency to mastery and nails it on each and every minute of Blue Bolero.

The eight-minute 'Overture" that opens the album is a gorgeously lush piece of music as the interplay between Standring's guitar and Porter's violin is dazzling. The album drifts seamlessly between the quiet ("Contemplation"), the busy ("Fast Train to Everywhere"), and the romantic ("Sensual Overload").

There are signature moments in a musician's career when they make an album that both defines them and sets the course for their future. Herbie Hancock had his with Head Hunters (Columbia, 1973), Weather Report reached their summit with Heavy Weather (Columbia, 1977), and George Benson took off with Breezin' (Warner Brothers, 1976). Whether or not Blue Bolero belongs in that kind of distinguished company is a judgment call, but it is the best album Chris Standring has made yet.

(An additional Web page has been created for this release, at www.bluebolero.net.)


Track Listing: Overture; Blue Bolero; Please Mind the Gap; Contemplation; Sensual Overload; Regarding Tetchwick; Fast Train to Everywhere; On Second Thoughts; Sunrise; Bossa Blue; Lost In Angels; March of the Bowler Hats; At the End of the Day; Finale (Bolero Reprise).

Personnel: Chris Standring: keyboards, programming, vocals, guitars; Dave Karsony: drums (1, 9, 11, 13, 14); Rodney Lee: Fender Rhodes solo (1); Larry Steen : acoustic bass (1, 2, 4, 9, 13, 14); Barbara Porter: violin (1-3, 5-7, 9, 11-14); Eric Valentine: drums (3, 12); Andre Berry: bass (3, 12); Katisse Buckingham: alto flute (3); Dewayne 'Smitty' Smith: bass (5); Tim Landers: bass (7); Rico Belled: bass (10); Mitch Forman: Fender Rhodes (12).

Title: Blue Bolero | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Ultimate Vibe

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Overture

Overture

Chris Standring
Blue Bolero

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sunlight

Sunlight

Ultimate Vibe
2018

buy
Ten

Ten

Ultimate Vibe
2016

buy
Chris Standring: Don't Talk, Dance!

Chris Standring:...

Ultimate Vibe
2014

buy
Electric Wonderland

Electric Wonderland

Ultimate Vibe
2012

buy
Blue Bolero

Blue Bolero

Ultimate Vibe
2010

buy
Love And Paragraphs

Love And Paragraphs

Ultimate Vibe
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Dawn CD/LP/Track Review
Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Life Of CD/LP/Track Review
Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun CD/LP/Track Review
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Enso CD/LP/Track Review
Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Let Your Light Shine On CD/LP/Track Review
Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Art in the Age of Automation" CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "It Only Takes Time" CD/LP/Track Review It Only Takes Time
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "The Shakedown" CD/LP/Track Review The Shakedown
by Chris May
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "Chants To The Sea - The Corium project" CD/LP/Track Review Chants To The Sea - The Corium project
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)" CD/LP/Track Review Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018