Greg Chako, Christy Smith & Mark DeRose,
Paint a Picture, Tell a Story
(Chako, 2007)

Cincinnati, Ohio-born jazz guitarist Greg Chako began working as a professional musician when he moved to Asia in 1992. Since then he's working with different lineups on several projects. In 2007 he recorded Paint a Picture, Tell a Story with a four-piece lineup and four special guest musicians.

He recorded six self-crafted tracks and four cover versions. The CD starts with "Cycles," a chill-out tune by Chako, with Chako, Don Byron (tenor-saxophone) and Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone) playing solos, while Mark deRose (drums) and Christy Smith (bass) create the cool rhythms. He also wrote stirring rhythmic tunes like "What da'Funk!" which features a brilliant drums and percussion solo, and "Murtabop," a world music/jazz mix with Joe Jayaveeran on tabla and his cousin Jayagowtham on mridangam.

Frank Wess wrote "Next" and Chako recorded it as a quartet with Greg Lyons on tenor saxophone, Smith (who plays a terrific bass solo), deRose on drums and the maestro on guitar. Drummer Billy Higgins composed "Marilyn's Dilemma," a brilliant bebop tune, brought forward again by the quartet. Finally I'd like to mention Edward C. Redding's ballad "The End of a Love Affair." This quiet tune is a perfect showcase for Chako's soulful playing, only accompanied by bass and drums.

The album is a great sample of modern jazz, featuring some of the best musicians who work in Asia. Chako is a fine guitar player and a great composer. I really love this CD.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Adolf Goriup

16 May 2009

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