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 The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Beauty of Disaster" CD/LP/Track Review The Beauty of Disaster
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Shelter" CD/LP/Track Review Shelter
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Parallax" CD/LP/Track Review Parallax
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Brel" CD/LP/Track Review Brel
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!