Shades of Cool
Following the path of Peter White Chris Standring coming from UK found his success in L.A. May be he didn't expected to be so soon an acknowledged sideman and prefered guitarist for artists like Bebe & Cece Winans, Jodey Watley, Omar, The Solsonics, Carol Bayer Sager and Rick Braun. His solo projects Velvet and Hip Sway found a great audience and radioplay on many Smooth Jazz radio stations. Many writers reviewed his albums, from USA to Russia (have a look at the below mentioned articles).
In February 1996 Chris took part in the Guitars, Saxes & More US tour featuring Marc Antoine, Peter White, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun. He worked with Rick Braun on his top selling album "Body & Soul . Chris toured with sax man Richard Elliot in 1999 to promote his album Chill Factor. No wonder that his music is often played at JazzFM in London/UK and found the attention of Raph Tee, owner of Passion Jazz. So we celebrate the come back of Chris Standring to good old England and the release of his third album Shades of Cool.
Shades of Cool is not only a "Best of " his albums Velvet and Hip Sway, but also the release of two new songs: It's The Voodoo You Do and London Lowdon. Therefore the album is also interesting for the possessor of his previous albums.
Chris 's style is typical: A phat drum and bass overdubbed by an easy played guitar refined by Rodney Lee's keyboards. Good Medicine for your ears.
Propulsing drums and Chris' lick guitar are characteristic for London Lowdown. Dino Soldo adds his saxual accents.
Cool Shades presents Rick Braun's smooth flugelhorn accompagnied by Chris' guitar played in a Benson-like way overdubbed with some Wah-Wah-effects. This tune was rightly during several weeks in high positions of the R&R Smooth Jazz charts.
Smile is the forth uptempo tune of this serial.
Deep into base settles The Beautiful Woman Of Scant Virtue. Chris and Lee create in this midtempo an exotic atmosphere.
The second new track It's The Voodoo You Do exorcize old R'n B culture with some mellow background vocals.
What is is mixes elements of Acid Jazz like vibesounds, rimstick hits and quick guitar riffs.
More dreamy melodies intrude with Steven. Dino develops a Stevie Wonder or Pat Metheny feeling with his sensitive harmonica.
Big Feet ... Big Shoes turns back the wheel to a more rocky time. Derrick Edmonson blows a pepperish tenor sax.
The title song of his second album Hip Sway is certainly a worthy addition to this compilation. Richard Elliot is the third saxman on this album. Connaisseurs might recognize the differences. Anyway, Richard dominates this tune with his powerful sax.
'Nuff Said brings more tempo into this album. One will observe that Chris has renounced to put the previous cover version of the Bee Gees and 10CC on this new album. May be the result of the inherent reaction of the reviewers and audience.
Pins And Needles is the second rockish tune. Organ, some distortion and Wah-Wah guitars are offerings to the rocking past.
Small Talk is the next story to be told of this history. Dino Soldo's harmonica and Chris' guitar define "Hooking" in a new way.
Naturally you also find Velvet, titlesong of Chris' first one on this album. Quick guitar riffs, beating snares, string components are touring this tune.
Yes, this is a fullpacked album. #15 is Glamour Girls and the final tune with a Rock attitude.
This album especially produced for the European market is like a christmas gift. Much electrifing music for less money.