Craig Chaquico: Midnight Noon

Craig Chaquico used approximately 50 guitars to record Midnight Noon (Higher Octave), and the result is a wonderfully kaleidoscopic offering that reflects the ax man’s past and his present. Once the lead guitarist for Jefferson Starship, Chaquico has become an immensely popu-lar smooth-jazz artist with a melodic, acoustic-guitar-based sound. A few years ago, he began incorporating electric guitar into his compositions, and on Midnight Noon he uses combinations of electric and acoustic guitars to create complex, detailed arrangements, like the Latin-inflected “El Gato,” which combines electric, nylon-string and steel-string guitars. Electric guitar drives the dramatic “Dia Del Zorro,” and the vocal number “Always With You” features an old-school funk groove contemporized with electronic elements and embellished with classical guitar flourishes. The rollicking “Girls’ Night Out” features a talk-box, an instrument popularized by Peter Frampton, and on the bluesy title track Chaquico and his acoustic ensemble smoothly shift the mood, evoking a late-night jazz-club vibe.