Guitarist/Composer Greg Chako Releases Standard Roots!

Guitarist Greg Chako's 17th CD, Standard Roots, contains over 72 minutes of music, with an additional 23+ minutes of music included in the 4 'bonus tracks' on the digital version of the album. The album represents a return to what Greg calls his "roots, " because it features the trio format of guitar, bass, and drums that he began his professional playing career with over 30 years ago.

Additionally, Greg says: "I treasure my own song-writing above all else, but I have never tired of playing standards. The Great American Songbook is still popular, and given the quality writing of composers such as Porter, Arlen, Jobim, Kern, & Hammerstein, there is always ample opportunity to flex ones' improvisational chops with those songs."

After recording so many albums featuring my own compositions, this newest one is a return to the type of music I played at the outset of my career more than 30 years ago. It includes some of the same songs that we often play on local gigs today. 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."

Standards are the feature here, but Greg alternates the time feels of each track between Swing, Latin, and Ballad. Typical swingers like "Just Friends", and bossa-novas like Jobim's "Triste" are interpreted as expected, whereas a couple old standbys like "Out of Nowhere" and "It Might as Well be Spring" are given a fresh, upbeat Latin treatment. Besides the songs typically considered as being from The Great American Songbook, there is a blues: Cedar Walton's "Cedar's Blues, " and two modern jazz compositions: "Solar" by Chuck Wayne, and "Beatrice" by Sam Rivers (one of the bonus tracks). Other stand-outs not heard so often are Alec Wilders' "I'll be Around" and Arlens' "Ill Wind." All in all, it's a strong, varied program of jazz from a guitarist who, in the tradition of Wes Montgomery, plays only with his thumb!

"He uses his thumb to execute winningly lyrical lines made up of pillow-like notes . . . old standbys get spiced up with Latin rhythms, experiencing a sudden ubiquity and fresh sound."

- Cadence Magazine, New York

"Greg favors the use of his thumb to produce the rich sound he achieves . . . The music swings compulsively at all times with the leader's exotic sound and constantly inventive lines, the mainstream appeal of familiar material being given a refreshing twist, and a driving rhythm section." - Jazz Journal, England

"His tone is warm yet incisive . . . relaxed grooves, lovely trio setting, and an unusually bright post- bebop style . . . a wonderful showcase for Chako." - Just Jazz Guitar, USA

"Like Tai-Chi Masters, Chako proves again the beauty lies in control and grace, not excess and discord." - Singapore

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