June 15th, 2001

 

Review from the London Times

By Mike Bradley

Chris Standring is one of Britain's most talented jazz guitarists, as anyone who listens to his album Shades Of Cool (Passion jazz) will agree. The curious thing is that, despite coming from a classical background and later becoming passionate about bebop, the guitarist, now resident in LA, has chosen to make his living in the arena of smooth jazz. He explores the format inventively and enthusiastically, as seen in his hits Good Medicine and Nuff Said. Granted, this is the intelligent end of the smooth jazz scale and his playing style is reminiscent of Benson via Montgomery - well constructed melodies, fluid solos and some impressive octave work - but you can't help feeling he could go further in a less saccharine context. A good-value compilation of soundtracks for sunny days in California is all very well, but maybe it's time we heard him really play.