Chris Standring flips old school new cool with soul, funk and a righteous beat you hear with your feet!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Chris Standring continues to put considerably distance between himself and his contemporaries by following his muse while never forgetting the importance of pushing the harmonic envelope. Don't Talk, Dance welcomes you to the land of rhythm and groove by combining the Standring wheelhouse with a unique hybrid vaguely reminiscent of the British acid jazz scene but with a sound that is unique and cutting edge. If Steely Dan actually played jazz, this could be where their sound would be now.
The difference between the played out radio format of smooth jazz and that of modern contemporary instrumental music is evolution. The only advancements in smooth jazz have come straight from over zealous producers that ride the compression switch as they continue to sanitize the music for your protection. Don't Talk, Dance brings the jazz nasty land of rhythm and groove to the forefront by utilizing session players that embrace the consistancy of Standring's creation while putting their own spin on the new sound of today's modern and in some cases more urban influenced contemporary vibe. To be commercial is to sell records. To have a commercial hook that grows, develops and aids in the natural evolution of the performer is the embodiment of Don't Talk, Dance and a pretty well formulated argument for a review that writes itself.
There is no overly pretentious vibe here. You are not being asked to "chill" while enjoying a "good hang" but instead your ears and your hips are invited to do what the originators of improvisational music intended...you are to dance! This is a rich expansive color palate from which Standring paints. The throwback Rhodes is here, vibrant strings, and the old school groove that seems to have been hiding out in the jazz witness protection program is back and funkier than ever. The whimsical first single "Sneakin' Out The Front Door" is a perfect choice and is a perfect setup of delicious tracks to come. While this is a Chris Standring joint from top to bottom, the mixing here may be the best work Standring has ever done. Never consistently out front nor buried behind the beat, Chris Standring is a lyrical chameleon of controlled sonic fury methodically weaving his voice in and out of the mix as needed.
Never ostentatious. Never boring. Never out of style.
Contemporary jazz has just been put on notice...
Tracks: Sky High; Inside Outside; Sneakin' Out The Front Door; Voices In My Head; Soul Symphony; Another Fine Mess; Mood Swing; Ride; Absolute Madness; Yesterday's Heaven; Imagine That; Scatterfunk; Nothing Lasts Forever.
Personnel: Chris Standring: Guitars, Keyboards, Programming, Talkbox; Rodney Lee: Fender Rhodes, Organ; Andre Berry: Bass; Dave Karasony: Drums; Doug Webb: Tenor Sax; Chris Tedesco: Trumpet; Steve Sidwell: Trumpet; Nick Lane: Trombone; Sergio Gonzales: Drums; Neil Stubenhaus: Bass; Eric Valentine: Drums; Nikki Garcia: Violin; Barbara Porter: Violin; Tom Tally: Viola; Cameron Stone: Cello; Chris Blondal: Drums; Dave Salinas: Drums; Guy Richman: Drums; Janelle Sadler: Vocals; Joey Heredia: Drums.
Special thanks to Chris Standring for allowing me to premier this recording - first again!