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Greg Chako: Standard Roots

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Greg Chako: Standard Roots
Cincinnati-based veteran jazz guitarist and composer Greg Chako presents his 17th album as leader with the light and tender Standard Roots, returning to his musical foundation of performing in the guitar trio format as he joins forces, once again, with two stalwart players of the Cincinnati jazz scene, bassist Mason Daugherty and drummer Michael Meloy. An international recording artist, with a major portion of his discography having been released throughout Asia, Japan and Singapore, Chako has always drawn on his talents as a composer in providing many new and exciting original compositions.

Not only is this new album a departure from Chako's history of leading ensembles and delivering new material which, as a gifted composer, he has been very comfortable in doing but, on this recording, the trio journeys through the landscape of the Great American Songbook and other classic standards on a 13-piece gem of an album. As he states, "I treasure my own song-writing above all else, but I have never tired of playing standards...given the quality writing of composers such as Porter, Arlen, Jobim, Kern & Hammerstein..."

The guitarist pays homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim, featuring two of his compositions with "O Grande Amor," and a livelier swinging version of the immortal "Triste." He also includes a delicious up-tempo and stylish treatment of the well-travelled "It Might as Well be Spring" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The album opens with the John Klenner standard "Just Friends," followed by the Alex Wilder ballad "I'll Be Around," performed slow and mellow just like it was penned, with Chako on light strings, Meloy on the brushes and Daugherty's soft bass lines making for one beautiful number.

The band brings back the swing on Johnny Green's "Out of Nowhere." The group also includes a touch of blues with Cedar Walton's "Cedar's Blues," as well as a bit of modern jazz with Chuck Wayne's "Solar." The band returns once again to the main theme of the set with fresh takes of oft recorded standards like the Harold Arlen and Wolgand Koehler's "Ill Wind," and the Gene de Paul classic "Star Eyes."

The curtain finally comes down on exciting new renditions of the Jimmy Van Heusen "It Could Happen to You," and the finale piece, appropriately titled "That's All" from Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes. One thing is clearly obvious, Chako has assembled a formidable and cohesive trio that is well-placed to continue producing the finest jazz music around as he says, "There was no effort made to arrange or rehearse this music; we simply played what we felt like and recorded it all in one take."

Track Listing

Just Friends; I'll Be Around; Out Of Nowhere; I Should Care; It Might As Well Be Spring; Ill Wind; O Grande Amor; Cedar's Blues; Triste; Solar; Star Eyes; It Could Happen To You; That's All; Beatrice; I'm Old Fashioned; Triste (bonus track); Just Friends.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Standard Roots | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Mint 400 Records


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