Jazz guitarist Chris Standring is one of the rare guitarists, which have been blessed with significant success. Toughly earned, this success rests on numerous pillars. Chris knows the music business and runs his own record label. He seeks collaboration with other artists. And remains on everyone's lips through numerous appearances and record releases. In the end, however, it is his style with high recognition value that distinguishes him from other musicians.

His new album Real Life (2020) fits seamlessly into this chain of success. Chris performs on his new project guitars, keyboards and programming. He is accompanied on selected tracks by Andre Barry (bass), Chris Coleman, David Karasony (drums), Mitchel Forman (acoustic piano), Ronnie Gutierrez (percussion), Kevin Axt (upright bass), Hans Zermulen, Matt Rhode (Fender Rhodes), Iris Almario (handclaps), Vanessa Haynes (vocals), and Lauren Christy (background vocals).

Is There A Doctor In The House? With this provocative question, which today even implies political meaning, Chris titles his introductory song. What sounds like the harmonic intro chorus of Take 6 is based on a finely programmed vocal sample. In earlier time we called Chris' guitar style acid jazz, meanwhile it's the sonic highlight of every event.

Another musical gem is the mellow Out Of The Blue. We had not heard from Mitchel Forman for a long time. Here he grows to true greatness at the piano. Concise guitar riffs accompanied by powerful organ chords are the characteristic of Whatever She Wants. In Other Words is inspired by Pat Metheny's music, which makes this tune very sympathetic.

The orchestral hits of the danceable Shake You Up might be influenced by Paul MacCartney's Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time, while the bass run has some Wham effect. The spark will quickly fly. Ronnie Gutierrez provides the necessary swing on What Goes Around with jingling sleigh bells. The late George Jinda comes into mind.

Living The Poetry is the product of a fruitful collaboration between Chris and the seven-time Grammy nominated singer Lauren Christy, who sings here only in the background while Vanessa Haynes takes over the lead vocals. The song is spiced up by vigorous Talkbox use and a funky intro, which, however, does not dominate the piece throughout. Another Train brings the guitar melody back to its core element and elevates it to concentrated lightness.

Tell Me A Bedtime Story was originally recorded in 1969 by jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock for his Warner Brothers Records debut Fat Albert Rotunda. Chris integrates the song brilliantly into his own sound cosmos. This Mess Is A Place opts for a theme that is always repeated in hypnotic features.

Prelude From Bach Cello Suite 1 is part of a cycle that Johannes Sebastian Bach wrote in the years 1717-23. Although conceived for the cello, Chris takes the artistic freedom to celebrate this well-known classical piece on his new Spanish acoustic guitar. A wonderful transcription.

Chris Standring's intention was to create an album as authentic as possible. Thus, Real Life reflects the entire spectrum of his personality as a person and musician. A versatile album that clearly stands out stylistically and musically from current new releases.





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Album Information

Title: Real Life
Artist: Chris Standring
Year: 2020
Length: 0:48:50
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Ultimate Vibe Recordings

1. Is There A Doctor In The House?
2. Out Of The Blue
3. Whatever She Wants
4. In Other Words
5. Shake You Up
6. What Goes Around
7. Living The Poetry
8. Another Train
9. Tell Me A Bedtime Story
10. This Mess Is A Place
11. Prelude From Bach Cello Suite 1

Further Reviews:

Shades of Cool


Love and Paragraphs

Blue Bolero

Don't Talk, Dance!

Electric Wonderland

Send Me Some Snow


Best Of Chris Standring Remixed