Over the course of five CDs, guitarist Chris Standring has distinguished himself in the contemporary jazz realm with adventurous and lyrical compositions leavened with pure-pop perfection, dazzling guitar solos and thick beats. His jazz leanings and riffs have always been in the foreground, but he expanded his sound with rock, blues, R&B and electronic elements.
With his sixth CD, Blue Bolero, Standring returns with a left-turning musical project so daring in its scope but still so true to his sound that it's destined to be one of the year's most-discussed projects, while certainly sure to be remembered in years to come as a highlight of the guitarist's works. He's taking a chance with Blue Bolero, but it's one his fans will certainly embrace as they follow Standring's ever-evolving career. I think this one is probably the most honest CD I have recorded so far, Standring says. I didn't care about commercial constraints. I didn't care about having special guest performers on the album for the sake of creating a sales and marketing perception. Everyone who performed on this CD was there because I felt they were the absolute best to help realize this album.
Blue Bolero, to be released March 2, 2010 on the Ultimate Vibe Recordings label, is a CD that retains Standring's familiar pop hooks while liberally tying it all together with orchestral elements. At the same time, the robust sonic landscape digs deep into jazz territory with an organic trio powered by Standring, drummer Dave Karasony and upright bassist Larry Steen. It's been my ambition for years to record an album with an orchestra, Standring says, who spent a year and a half fleshing and refining the CD. Every time I thought I was finished, I thought about what I could do to make it better. I really pushed myself to the edge with orchestration and arranging. I didn't want to make the music too dark and windswept - overall it is certainly meant to be fun - but at the same time it has musical elements that reflect my musical training, influences and cultural surroundings. The music is based around several themes and represents a very reflective mood throughout.