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Guitarist/composer/bandleader Greg Chako has recorded in varied venues and formatsperforming in duet, trio and here in quartet. Paint A Picture, Tell A Story (CPB, 2007) even made use of marquee names Don Byron and Delfeayo Marsalis. It remains a mystery why he hasn't achieved wider acclaim and better gigs. Perhaps the use of a creative album cover could make a difference.
Chako and the members of his quartet make use of classic jazz album covers in which the fonts, colors and styles of the past are recreated by these four musicians. Here, Chako's preferred album, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (Riverside/OJC, 1960), is duplicated by the guitarist. The rhythm section has selected Herbie Hancock's Takin' Off (Blue Note, 1962), bassist Sam Jones' Something In Common (Muse, 1977) and drum legend Philly Joe Jones' Showcase (Riverside/OJC, 1959). To some degree, all of these covers are remade on the face of Everybody's Got A Name.
On his previous albums Chako recorded originals, jazz standards and songs from the Great American Songbook. Everybody's Got A Name presents eleven tracks that include seven originals from Chako in addition to two standards and two jazz tunes. The guitarist has also been a very proficient balladeer. On "All Roads Lead Home" he shows the same ability in sharing the tune with pianist Hiroshi Tanaka. The title tune is a cooker with a great hook, while DeRose/Shefter's "The Lamp is Low" is given a most tasty bossa dressing.
Two tunes bring out the best in Chako. His interpretation of Jobim's standard "A Felicidade" is most attentive to the lovely melody, with Chako's solo on that same high plain. George Benson's "Mimosa" likely goes back to Benson's salad days and the tune is played out by Chako in Wes Montgomery octave style. Yasuhiro Hasegawa adds to the piece by taking a smooth bass solo.
This is yet another winning session, attractively packaged by Chako.
Track Listing: Boppin' At Berlitz; Bop-n-Swing Thing; Everybody's Got A Name; All Roads Lead Home; The Lamp Is Low; Apache Junction; Yamanasbi Swing; Mimosa; A Felicidade; Blues For Redd; From This Moment On.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.