152

Greg Chako: Paint A Picture, Tell A Story

By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Chako: Paint A Picture, Tell A Story Perhaps reviewing guitarist Greg Chako's Where We Find Ourselves (CPB, 2006) and Two's Company, Three's A Crowd Jazz Duets (CPB, 2006), explains why his adventures, both musical and otherwise, remain amazing.



From Boston's Berklee College of Music, Chako relocated to New York, where he discovered his talent for culinary arts. In Amherst, Massachusetts, working as a chef, Chako found that he had talent as a jazz promoter of concerts and festivals, which also gave him access to top-level musicians. He then returned to his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became a bandleader, booking agent and educator. His musical career came to a temporary halt when Chako developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. He relocated to Hong Kong, where an Asian woman (later his wife) found that Tai-Chi was able to restore his wrist for working again. Moving yet again to Singapore in 1994, Chako found himself in a long-running gig at the famed Raffles, one of the world's most famous bars.



Despite losing his wife to cancer, Chako continued his musical career, and came to record several albums which emphasized his own compositions in duets with pianists as well as a female vocalist. On Where We Find Ourselves, Chako most important contribution was rewriting jazz and pop standards including Johnny Mandel's "Emily and Jule Styne's "It's You Or No One," renaming them "Takachan" and "It's Only You" respectively. On Two's Company, Three's A Crowd Jazz Duets, the tunes consisted entirely of well-chosen titles from the Great American Songbook.



Paint A Picture, Tell A Story is Chako's eighth album, and a different one. The guitarist's trio of bassist Christy Smith and drummer Mark DeRose (who are also westerners living in Asia) is joined by trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis; multi-reedman Don Byron and, although not as well-known, saxophonist Greg Lyons. On previous albums Chako enjoyed plenty of solo space to display his Wes Montgomery-style octave playing; with this larger ensemble, Chako provides a fair amount of comping to accommodate this piano-less group.



In the past, Chako has displayed his ability to write tuneful originals, as well as being able to interpret standards in a swinging and lyrical fashion. On this album, he is able to present six new original tunes, leaving room for material from Billy Higgins and Frank Wess, as well as two pieces from the Great American Songbook.



On tunes such as Chako's "What da' Funk!" and "Hurry Up and Wait," Byron is heard effectively on both bass clarinet and tenor sax, with Marsalis bringing a tailgate trombone straight outta N'awlins. Tablaist Joe Jayaveeran and mridangam player Jayagrowtham add more texture. Chako, in a guitar trio setting only, offers up Rodgers and Hammerstein's "People Will Say We're In Love" and Redding's "The End of a Love Affair," reminding us of his fine techniques and keen ear for melody.

Track Listing: Cycles; Next; Murtabop; Ballad for Andy; Marilyn's Dilemma; Hurry Up and Wait; What da'Funk!; The End Of A Love Affair; With Full Heart and Teary Eyes; People Will Say We're In Love.

Personnel: Greg Chaka: guitar; Mark DeRose: drums, percussion; Christy Smith: bass; Greg Lyons: tenor and soprano sax; Delfaeyo Marsalis: trombone; Don Byron: bass clarinet, tenor sax; Joe Jayaveeran: tabla; Jayagowtham: mridangam.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: CPB | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.