Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Chris Standring: Love & Paragraphs

Chris Standring

There is no other way to put it: Chris Standring is the most underrated and underappreciated musician in contemporary jazz. His fifth CD in 10 years is like the others, full of catchy hooks, sublime electric guitar playing and a cohesive whole that fits just right (Standring is known for offering, for free on his Web site, seven to 10 songs that didn’t fit onto a particular album). If Standring made albums in the 1970s like George Benson, they’d be naming awards after him.

Love & Paragraphs continues the guitarist’s oeuvre, his improvisational jazz sensibilities built around perfectly crafted pop songs by way of his soul-blues background in the U.K. Only really hardcore Standring fans will notice that on about half of the songs, Standring trades his Benedetto archtop for a heavily stringed Fender Strat, giving him a boffo bluesy edge on songs like “As Luck Would Have It.” He creates pure pop pitch with subtle vocal shadings on the title track with Mary Cassidy and on “C.S. in the Sunshine,” with Standring and Jeff Robinson’s tandem “da-das” adding Manhattan Transfer-like seasoning. Better still is Standring’s frequent vocalization of “ooh bop” in the song of the same name, which offers grand guitar layering. Pure fun.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published