Chris Standring is a Los Angeles-based contemporary jazz guitarist who was originally raised in Buckinghamshire, England. He has always had an itch to record an album of standards and that was scratched with the release of Wonderful World . Through the marvels of technology, Standring was able to record the trio tracks in several locations in California with some bold face names such as Peter Erskine, Chuck Berghofer and Randy Brecker, while the orchestral input was arranged and conducted by Geoff Gascoyne, and recorded at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London. The result is an "old bottles, new wine" session, with a very distinctive flavour.
The use of popular standards as the foundational material for this recording fits with the construct that the more familiar any piece is to an artist, the more chances they will take with the improvisation and thus the more depth it will achieve. This is evident from the opening track, "How Insensitive" by the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, structured with a lovely samba tempo, and the string orchestra providing a soft pillow background; Standring does not stray far from the theme but still provides some thoughtful guitar lines. Written for the 1932 musical " The Gay Divorcee," Cole Porter's "Night And Day" has the usual quotient of passion and longing which infuse all of his songs. Standring takes the number at a moderate swinging style which captures the music in a contemplative way. Bassist Berghofer delivers his solo with understated strength.
"Green Dolphin Street" was written for the 1947 movie of the same name and, over the years, has become a jazz standard. Delivering it with a Latin vibe, Standring is backed by drummer Harvey Mason and bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz each of whom strives to deliver the number with crisp simplicity and sensitivity. That trio, plus Randy Brecker on flugelhorn, are the principals on Standring's composition "Sunrise." While it is not a terribly complex composition, Standring's guitar plays the melody with Mason and Oleszkiewicz providing the rhythmic support. Becker slides in, adding some expressive color to the number.
The final track is Victor Young's sentimental ballad "My Foolish Heart." The front line is a duo with Standring and bassist Gascoyne who float over the string orchestra that is providing rich and warm support. A fitting close to this contemporary interpretation of songs from the Great American Songbook.
How Insensitive; Night and Day; Autumn in New York; Estate; What a Wonderful World;
On Green Dolphin Street; Alfie; Falling in Love with Love; Sunrise; Maxine; My Foolish