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Integration I & II: CD

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Greg Chako creates a new style, breathing exotic jazz-ethno music full of spirit and solid musical foundation – Jazz Dimensions of Germany

A jazz mosaic painted with the very best of cultural, ethnic, and musical sensibilities. That striking combination provides a sumptuousness and extensiveness in the music that is rarely found in any genre. I think it’s safe to say that Greg Chako and his magnificent band are one of the world’s best-kept secrets. The word is now out; don’t hesitate in seeking out this essential jazz experience! – Keith ‘MuzikMan’ Hannaleck, Jazz Reviews

The music transcends geographic boundaries and cultures and communicates the happiness and friendship that all music should provide – Vince Lewis, Just Jazz Guitar

Recalls those exciting hard blowing sessions of the 1960’s which featured Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, and Jackie McLean . . . with an effective mix of hard bop and Latin rhythms guaranteed to keep listener attention – David Nathan, All Music Guide

Chako, the composer, takes his inspiration from the rich Blue Note Iode, with echoes of Shorter, Hancock, and Dorham reverberating through his uniformly heartfelt performances, all of which sound like they could have found a home in the Jazz Messengers’ book – Cadence Magazine

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Everybody’s Got a Name: CD
  • Everybody’s Got a Name: CD

Everybody’s Got a Name: CD

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Greg's most recent combo recording (2007). Featuring guitar trio, piano quartet, and a guitar-piano duet- 7 originals and 4 standards.

Reviews:

JazzTimes `08 – January 21, 2016:

“…His straight-ahead, coolly swinging sound is heard in trio and quartet arragnements on this release, mostly originals with a jam-session feel… Chako hits paydirt when his band lets loose in the bustling, trickily constructed title track, and when he gets lost in the emotion of the sparkling All Roads Lead Home…” – JazzTimes `08

http://www.mpeters77.freeserve.co.uk/musicwatch11.html – January 21, 2016:

“…this album swings hard and gentle, depending on the track… Greg Chako has some of the nimblest fingers I’ve ever heard! The backing by his trio is superb and very tight, so you have a muscular sound wrapped in gloves of velvet. In British English slang this is a band giving it some serious welly and taking no prisoners. If your feet aren’t at least tapping when listening to this album you have to be braindead! Definitely one the best jazz albums I’ve heard in recent times”. – http://www.mpeters77.freeserve.co.uk/musicwatch11.html

  1. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place – January 21, 2016:

“…his last few releases have placed him among the elite jazz guitarists in America… The musicians have good chemistry… You will enjoy his buttery tone on guitar in both trio and quartet formats…” – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place

Guest – January 21, 2016:

“Superb,” “exquisite” and “delicious” are three words that only begin to describe Greg Chako’s ninth and latest release, Everybody’s Got A Name. Chako’s superb playing, exquisite interpretations and delicious melodies, combined with his impeccable ear for melody, lend an understated elegance to each of the album’s 11 tracks. He guides his listeners through the world of Jazz guitar with tunes that range from bop compositions to sultry Bossa Nova, all the while gracing each song with his unique style of playing. There’s something fresh about each of the songs. Chako has a cool and confident style of playing, with superior ease and grace… Not only does he show just what he is made of, but his band mates strut their stuff, too; their flawless musicianship is evident throughout the album, but they excel on the title track. In his liner notes he confesses, “As the title track, I wanted to write something that shows off the group.” With this in mind, Chako wrote a complex, forward, unpredictable, yet clean musical rebuttal to the Jazz professionals and critics who, “overemphasize ‘name’ recognition…” He says, “…Everybody’s got a name, or, everybody who’s got something uniquely valid to say has a right to be taken seriously.” Mark my words, ladies and gentlemen; this is one fellow we should all take seriously… The other star of this album is “The Lamp is Low.” Based on Ravel’s “Pavane pour une Infante defunte,” a Classical piece, Chako and his trio effortlessly execute this dreamy Bossa Nova version. Chako’s smooth guitar playing leaves a velvety aftertaste in the listener’s mouth, and the tender melody lingers long after the song ends. You’ll want to play this one on repeat. You’ll probably want to play a few others over and over again, too. Do yourself a favor and listen to Everybody’s Got A Name. Greg Chako and his band members prove they definitely have something to say, and they’re worth listening to. Rating: 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 http://www.music-reviewer.com/may-2008/jazz-blues-other/greg-chako-::-everybodys-got-a-name/

Rotcod Zzaj – January 21, 2016:

Greg Chako – EVERYBODY’S GOT A NAME: We first reviewed Greg’s music a couple of issues back (#77) on his “PAINT A PICTURE, TELL A STORY” CD (which we made a “PICK” for that issue). We like this album very much as well, though it has a much more “uptown” kind of flavor, at least to my ears. It still features Greg’s fantastic guitar works, & though he’s joined by Mark DeRose (percussion, drums), Yasuhiro Hasekawa’s bass & piano by Hiroshi Tanaka, there seems to be more emphasis on Chako’s guitar this time. Now, don’t get me wrong, you can still hear the other players, it (somehow) just seems like Greg’s playing is more “in front” on these tracks than on the earlier CD. Some of that may be attributable to the fact that the players are those that Greg played with (most often) while he lived in Japan… & it’s clear that he GOT the concept for this CD “right on”… doesn’t matter if the player has “big name” recognition… ‘coz, as the album title implies – “everyone has a NAME”! He added some funny touches to the CD jacket (but you’ll have to purchase it to see what they are, eh?). Ah, NOW I hear some more piano (title track), & Mr. Tanaka can SMOKE, volkz! The more I listen through the compz on this album, the more it “sticks” to my ribs… there are some very strong tunes here, most notably (& my favorite on the CD) being “Yamanashi Snow”… a very haunting piece… starts off slow, with nice jazz orientation & a genuine “hook” for the listener to carry away with them (for years, I might add). This one rates our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and (once again) the “PICK” of this issue for “most creative flow in a jazz recording”. – Rotcod Zzaj

Adam Greenberg – January 21, 2016:

“Chako has a full sound, with hints of Wes Montgomery. Excellent contemporary bop, chunks of Latin, some post-bop aesthetics and as the album progresses, Chako explores more contemplative pieces built off of a pastoral tradition, straight-up swinging pieces, a bit of Jobim’s bossa nova, and a quiet duet with Hiroshi Tanaka on piano (with what might be a Bill Evans influence in his phrasing). Covering all of the fundamental bases here, the playing is really fine. The rhythm section is outstanding, moving from style to style with ease and providing more than just rhythmic accompaniment. Moreover, Chako’s stretching out further here than in previous releases — exploring and developing, taking influences into account and not just adding some personal effect to the playing, but adding a personal effect that coalesces with the influences in a better way”. – All Music Guide – by Adam Greenberg

John Book, The Run-Off Groove – January 21, 2016:

“Going back and forth between a trio and quartet lineups, guitarist Greg Chako has returned once again with a great album called Everybody’s Got A Name. What I liked about him before was his sense of character, giving each song a voice (or a metaphorical “face”) and having it become the reason you want to hear the entire song. Chako is in good company as he plays his heart and soul out with material that benefits his style of playing, especially in songs like “Bop-N-Swing Thing”, “Blues For Redd”, “Yamanashi Snow” and the Latin-flavored title track, which doesn’t let go of its energy during the song’s 10 minute duration. The music feels good, you listen to it and can’t help but smile throughout, and it seems that these guys may have been doing it the same way in the studio. It works, and I think this guy is going to and will continue to record music that people will find hard to resist.”

Metro Spirit – AUGUSTA, GA 4/2/08 BY RICH MCCRACKEN II – January 21, 2016:

“Greg Chako is a fabulous jazz guitarist. When you listen to his new CD you hear elements of jazz guitar greats such as Herb Ellis, Howard Roberts, Barney Kessel, Tony Mottola and Tal Farlow, to name a few. The guitar of Chako, drums of Derose, and upright bass of Hasegawa play as one unit, and the piano work of Hiroshi Tanaka really stands out. It’s an exceptional jazz CD and recommended listening.” – Metro Spirit – AUGUSTA, GA 4/2/08 BY RICH MCCRACKEN II

LMNOP Reviews – January 21, 2016:

“…fluid jazz played with integrity and style. Chako’s ninth full-length release is a keeper. This CD features eleven classy, reserved compositions that really showcase this guy’s skills on the guitar. His intricate playing recalls some of the jazz greats from the 50s and 60s and his backing musicians provide the perfect rhythmic backdrop. There are so many self-released CDs that just don’t cut it. Everybody’s Got a Name is clearly an exception to the rul

Edward Blanco – January 21, 2016:

“Guitarist/composer Greg Chako is the consummate musician who, despite personal hardships in his life, dedicates himself to the art of jazz with every fiber of his being, producing one fine album after another. With only three standards on the program, the majority of the music presented on Everybody’s Got a Name features original compositions and arrangements. As good as past recordings were, this work is perhaps Chako’s best release yet. Just one listen

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Paint a Picture, Tell a Story…: CD
  • Paint a Picture, Tell a Story…: CD
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A unique mix of originals, bebop and standard jazz, featuring Delfeayo Marsalis, Don Byron, and Greg Lyons.

Reviews:

Larry Hollis, Cadence, NY – January 22, 2016:

From World Music to Bossa Nova to Smooth Jazz, this remarkable guy is the epitome of eclectic, but what we have here is a Jazz album with a few exotic tinges. I hear the faint influence of Jim Hall and Raney in Chakos deft finger work, and it is to his credit that although he uses his thumb instead of a pick, there are no blatant Wes Montogmery references to be heard. Chako has enlisted the aid of a few heavyweights to bolster his core quartet, but not everyone plays on each selection. Don Byrons bass clarinet is featured on several tracks, as is the good trombone of Delfeayo Marsalis. The disc comes complete with handy, extensive liner notes all written by the leader himself. The life story of this extremely gifted guitarist has all the required ingredients to make for a super screen play, and after this first exposure to his music, I`ll be watching him like a hawk on a chicken! – Larry Hollis, Cadence, NY

J Sin, Smother Magazine Review – January 22, 2016:

“I listened to ‘ Two’s company, Three’s a crowd’. This CD is also fantastic! From the first music, I was fascinated with the cool intro of the piano. The guitar and the piano are on an equal footing and each are moving energetic and lively, but don’t collide, unite completely. I felt that strong especially in track #14. The guitar and the piano merge and make one magnificent world. I could see many stars… beautiful!!” – J Sin, Smother Magazine Review Musical Performance 4 out of 5 Recording Quality 3.5 out of 5 Overall Enjoyment 4 out of 5

Joseph Taylor, Soundstage – January 22, 2016:

American jazz guitarist Greg Chako has been living and working in Asia since 1992, which might explain why he’s not better known here in the US. The three musicians who round out his quartet are also westerners based in Asia. Drummer Mark DeRose and bassist Christy Smith are from the US, and sax player Greg Lyons is from England. Chako must be respected among musicians, since two prominent players, Don Byron and Delfeayo Marsalis, are guests on six of the ten tracks on his new disc, Paint a Picture, Tell a Story…. Chako is a gifted composer and improviser whose attack on the guitar is reminiscent of Wes Montgomery’s — not surprisingly, since Chako also uses his thumb rather than a plectrum, just as Montgomery did. Chako doesn’t copy Montgomery, although he shares the latter’s impressive command of the guitar. Chako’s single-note and chord-based solos are emotionally rewarding and clearly developed, true to the title of the disc. His melodic tunes are richly complex, and his formidable command of the fingerboard allows him to present his musicians with harmonically challenging foundations. They respond with intelligent, sensitive performances. Byron’s bass clarinet on “Murtabop” and “What da Funk!” mesh nicely with Chako’s warm, fluid tone, as does Marsalis’s bluesy trombone throughout the disc. Lyons, a highly inventive player, holds his own with the more famous guests, and the rhythm section is responsive and fluid throughout. Paint a Picture, Tell a Story… was recorded in Singapore by John Herbert at Lion Studios, “The warm home of analogue sound in Singapore.” While I might wish for slightly more forward sonics, the instruments are cleanly separated and presented without artifice. Indeed, the disc’s space and atmosphere won me over quickly. Greg Chako is a world-class player, and I hope to check out more of his extensive discography. – by Joseph Taylor, Soundstage

music-reviewer.com Nov `07 – January 22, 2016:

Working in the jazz genre is more often than not a labor of love. There is a joke about how many jazz musicians it takes to change a light bulb, the answer being three hundred: one to change the bulb and two hundred ninety-nine to explain how they would have done it better. Yet there are few things that match the thrill of walking into a club and hearing a bunch of players meshing perfectly, in the pocket, getting it right without getting too far out. So we come to Paint a Picture, Tell a Story by guitarist Greg Chako, with bassist Christy Smith, drummer Mark De Rose, and saxist Greg Lyons. Paint a Picture, Tell a Story walks that fine line where the borders of improvisation and accessibility overlap, making this one of those rare discs that the jazz aficionado and the casual listener can both listen to and appreciate. Made up primarily of Chako’s compositions, Paint a Picture, Tell a Story consists of ten intricate tracks which are always considerate of the listener, from the opening Cycles, an intricate guitar piece beautifully augmented by additional solos by guest musicians Don Byron (clarinet) and Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone) to the closing, respectful jam on the classic People Will Say We’re In Love. The tone of the disc overall is quiet, though very energetic, even approaching frenetic at times. Chako, however, maintains that perfect balance that results in moderated improvisation; nothing every becomes discordant or unlistenable, and while Paint a Picture, Tell a Story doesn’t enter any new territory, it explores nicely the ones it visits. Paint a Picture, Tell a Story is the perfect disc for someone who wishes to jump into improvisational jazz and to actually enjoy it while studying it. Chako’s track-by-track liner notes are simply fabulous for that purpose, a considerate touch with a disc that is always considerate of the listener. Recommended. – music-reviewer.com Nov `07

Bruce Von Stiers – January 22, 2016:

I have reviewed a couple of albums by Greg Chako. He is an excellent jazz guitarist. Now I get to review yet another album by Chako. This one also features the talents of Christy Smith and Mark DeRose. The title of the album is Paint A Picture, Tell A Story…. Greg’s style has been called straight ahead jazz with a swinging style. His playing has been described as warm, spontaneous and respectful, with imaginative and original lines. Quite nice things to say about a jazz guitarist. But once you have heard Greg play, especially on this new album, You will tend to agree with what others are saying; Greg Chako is a fantastic jazz guitarist. Not only did Greg grab up the talents of bassist, Smith and drummer DeRose, he also has saxophonist Greg Lyons playing on songs. And if that isn’t enough, there are a couple of guest performers. Don Bryon plays bass clarinet on several songs. Joe Hayaveeran plays tambla on one song. Joe’s nephew Jayagowtham plays mridangam on the same song. And the great trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis plays trombone on the album. Cycles is the first song on the album. An original composition by Greg, this is a nicely paced tune. It kind of reminded me of an old ‘60’s movie street scene, with the female leading meandering down a busy street. The second song, Next, has a lot of nice bass and tenor sax. This is complemented well by Greg’s guitar. Murtabop is a very busy song. This is the one that features the mridagam and tambla. In the liner notes for the album, Greg says that the song is named after the Indian food dish called Murtabok. In the same note, Greg tells us that a bit of the song will remind the listener of Coltrane’s Countdown. I would tend to agree. Some parts of the song do sound a bit like they might have been done by Coltrane. Ballad For Andy begins with an interesting drum solo and then provides the listener with some really good soprano sax and guitar solos. The sax is long and lingering. It might remind you of a lost love lament. Marilyn’s Dilemma brings the pace back up. It is a fun song with nice tenor sax and drum solos. Greg also has a decent guitar solo in the song. Hurry Up and Wait has a wonderful trombone solo. I think that my favorite song on the album is What da Funk! The song is quite a bit like the title suggests, a funk laden tune. There are cool bass lines, fantastic sax and trombone mixed in with guitar and bass clarinet. In other words, a tough smorgasbord of hot jazz sounds. Things slow down with a slow and easy love song called The End of A Love Affair. Moderately paced, With Full Heart and Teary Eyes, might remind you of another one of those 60’s movie scenes that I mentioned earlier. The album ends with a really nicely done rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune, People Will Say We’re In Love. Greg Chako is indeed a great jazz guitarist. With the music on this album, and the talent that supported his guitar playing on it, fans are sure to be delighted. And if you haven’t had a chance to hear Greg Chako’s music before, this is a great way to get introduced to it.” – Paint A Picture, Tell A Story… is available at CD Baby, iTunes, Emusic and other online and digital outlets. – Bruce Von Stiers

Oscar, O`s Place – January 22, 2016:

O’s Notes: “…Guitarist Greg Chako is a worldly jazz musician who spends a great deal of time in the Pacific. And this recording was done in Singapore, a collection of mostly originals with selected covers. He has good company with guest artists Delfeayo Marsalis (tb), Don Byron (cl, ts) joining him, notably on “Murtabop”. The core band is also above par with Mark DeRose (d), Christy Smith (b) and Greg Lyons (ss). This is Greg’s album but he shares the spotlight, which makes the experience rich and enjoyable. However when the time is right for him to insert his ax, he steps up as on “The End of a Love Affair”. It’s a cool session… – Oscar, O`s Place

Joost van Steen – January 22, 2016:

Now there is another task to perform for Greg Chako, namely with his new CD; Paint a Picture, Tell A Story but don’t worry, we don’t have to do so because Greg does that for us together with some highly skilled (as Greg himself) musicians. This CD takes a few different directions in styles, resulting in never a dull moment when listening to this CD, and as far as my opinion goes; The title for this CD is not complete, it should have been;….. Paint a Picture, Tell A Story…. And…..Enjoy The Music! ..I would also like to give this CD a subtitle, same as the title of the 2nd hour of my program Jazz & Blues Tour; …. “Lean Back and Enjoy”, and if you do you will discover the finesse of this production. – Joost van Steen, Host/Producer Jazz & Blues Tour with ASFM105.4 in The Netherlands

Music for America, by da bookman – January 22, 2016:

Greg Chako is a guitarist whose style is smooth but never weak. His thumb plucking style (i.e. no guitar pick) will please those who love the softer playing of Wes Montgomery and George Benson. The sound is great to hear, and on Paint A Picture, Tell A Story… (Chako Productions) he does so with a little help from his friends. The album features his band, which includes Christy Smith (bass), Mark DeRose (drums), and Greg Lyons (tenor and soprano sax). Lyons is a player who knows how to create color within a song, or to add his presence in an already vivid picture. Sometimes he’ll play in a way not unlike Sonny Rollins, while other times his playing would make it possible for Chako to get some smooth jazz radio airplay. One song that may not get smooth jazz airplay, but should get attention on many jazz radio shows, is “Murtabop”, an Indian-flavored track complete with tabla and mridangam, along with a great bass clarinet solo from Don Byron, whose presence on the album is nothing but some nice incregients to Chako’s already impressive stew. For a bit of that gumbo, Delfeayo Marsalis brings a bit of the New Orleans spices into the mix, especially when he solos in “Hurry Up And Wait”, “What da’ Funk!” and “With Full Heart And Teary Eyes”. In a way, it’s everyone in the studio waiting in line for lunch, and they all have to play in order to get in, and these guys can play their asses off. The music on Paint A Picture, Tell A Story… moves in a lot of different directions, or at least the stories being told are different from one another. Different stories, different flavors, coming from a unique collection of musicians who are different and yet the same, playing for a common cause. There’s joy, pain, heartbreak, and love within these songs, and hopefully Chako will continue to “paint” more audio pictures for years to come. – Music for America, by da bookman (Paint A Picture, Tell A Story… is available from CDBaby)

Edward Blanco (EJAZZ NEWS) – January 22, 2016:

American-born guitarist Greg Chako now lives and plays regularly in Tokyo, Japan and has seven previous recordings produced in Asia from Malaysia to Singapore and China. “Paint a Picture, Tell a Story,” is Greg’s eighth album and clearly one of his best. A master composer as well as guitarist, Chako provides six original charts and includes standards from Frank Wess, Billy Higgins and the legendary tandem of Rodgers/Hammerstein covering ten wonderful tunes. Chako’s quartet consist of a cadre of players with whom the leader has called upon for various projects and include Mark DeRose (drums), Christy Smith (bass), and the versatile Greg Lyons (tenor and soprano sax). For this recording the guitarist also employs the help of special guests Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Don Byron (bass clarinet, tenor), Joe Jayaveeran (tabla) and Jayagowtham (mridangam). To tell this story, Chako opens the music with “Cycles,” one of his favorite compositions in which he plays beautiful melodic lines on the guitar as the horns form the harmony. This is followed by one of the best cuts here with his interpretation of the Frank Wess tune “Next,” featuring nice bass line work from Smith tastefully engaged by Chako’s finger play on the strings. The result is a soft and warm melody and clearly a standout number. “Ballad for Andy,” is essentially a light ballad featuring a soprano solo from Lyons and a guitar run from the leader. The band turns to a little swing with drummer Billy Higgins’s “Marilyn’s Dilemma,” a nice bebop score. No other tune on this album showcases the talents of Chako like the eighth track, Redding’s “The End of a Love Affair,” a beautiful love ballad that’s all Greg Chako. The set ends with the bluesy “With Full Heart and Teary Eyes,” and the Rodgers/Hammerstein standard “People Will Say We’re In Love.” Chako and crew succeed in painting a masterpiece with “Paint a Picture, Tell a Story.” The story told here is quite simple, intelligent charts, excellent musicianship and a fine cast of players that results in one enjoyable musical tale. – Year: 2007 – Edward Blanco (EJAZZ NEWS)

Sari N. Kent Improvijazzation Nation – January 22, 2016:

“Paint a Picture, Tell a Story” from Greg Chako is a jazz album that includes whimsy and sensual tunes. The instrumentation displayed on the record definitely tells anecdotes and no words are needed. “Cycles” has cool percussion work along with what sounds like a saxophone. The guitar work has an electronica splash to it, which gives the song a unique twist. The light drumming in the background also makes the track quite catchy. On “Next” the vibe changes to a more arousing one. A smooth jazz rhythm is produced by the deep beats of sax and guitar. This song could be one played in a motion picture where two drifters meet by chance and the encounter breeds a smoldering relationship. “Murtabop” has high-pitched instrumentation beside a big band tone. The drum, percussion, guitar and cymbal play all mesh together to form a melody that might confuse some and rally others. On “Ballad for Andy” a tribal rhythm takes over as what sounds like bongos are being lightly beaten. Bongos are two small drums attached to each other. The drums are different in size, the larger drum is called a hembra, and the smaller drum is called a macho. “Marilyn’s Dilemma” is an expressive song with lively sax, guitar and percussion play. The zealous instrumentation impugns the title of the song, but her conundrum might be one that is easily rectified. Greg Chako’s “Paint a Picture, Tell a Story” does just that. Chitchat is not a necessity as Chako’s jazz prowess forms joyous melodies as well as steamy ones. – Reviewer: Sari N. Kent Improvijazzation Nation

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Two’s a Company, Three’s a Crowd: CD
  • Two’s a Company, Three’s a Crowd: CD
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Intimate guitar duets with piano and voice from the Great American Songbook. Recorded live in Japan.

Reviews:

Kaoru Uchida, Japan – January 22, 2016:

“I’ve listened to your new CD. The guitar sounds like the piano, and the piano sounds like the guitar. Like two creeks joining into a river. I find myself to be there, a river joint, and I hear the sounds running through me, stirring my soul. Can you see what I want to tell?” – Kaoru Uchida, Japan

Mihoko Wada, Japan – January 22, 2016:

“I listened to ‘ Two’s company, Three’s a crowd’. This CD is also fantastic! From the first music, I was fascinated with the cool intro of the piano. The guitar and the piano are on an equal footing and each are moving energetic and lively, but don’t collide, unite completely. I felt that strong especially in track #14. The guitar and the piano merge and make one magnificent world. I could see many stars… beautiful!!” – Mihoko Wada, Japan

J Sin, Smother Magazine Review – January 22, 2016:

Jazz guitarist Greg Chako apparently plays with only his thumb. He enlists a fine piano player in both Homei Matsumoto and Hiroshi Tanaka while Andrea Hopkins delivers a perfect vocal accompaniment. Recorded in Japan this year, “Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd” is an uplifting jazz centerpiece. – J Sin, Smother Magazine Review

Nicholas Sheffo, Fulvue Drive In – January 22, 2016:

The Jazz guitarist Greg Chako has come up with two new CD releases. One is interesting, while the other is even more ambitious and wide ranging. The PCM 16Bit/44.1kHz 2.0 Stereo sound is good on both. – Nicholas Sheffo, Fulvue Drive In (Dual Review; Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd & Where We Find Ourselves)

  1. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz – January 22, 2016:

This is straight ahead jazz, bebop performed in twos. Guitarist Chako pairs himself with pianists Hiroshi Tanaka and Homei Matsumoto or vocalist Andrea Hopkins. The five tracks with Matsumoto were recorded live in January 2006. The other eleven tracks were laid down in the studio. The music is excellent and fulfilling owing to the true talents of each of the musicians. The music is pleasing to listen to as background or for full engagement. – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz

Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap – January 22, 2016:

Chako does duets but not in the way you think, pairing off with different piano players here, a vocalist there… With a set card of classics that can easily veer way too close to cocktail music, Chako keeps it jazz and keeps you on board. Showing another side of what he can do, and do well, this is one jazzbo that you have to be sure and keep an ear open for. It’s not easy to make these tunes sound new, but he does that and does it well within the confines of just being able to bounce off one other player. – Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Eric W. Saeger, Skope Magazine – January 22, 2016:

Chako’s an American jazz guitarist who’s spent a lot of time in Japan, and two of the natives with whom he hooked up there are pianists Homei Matsumoto and Hiroshi Tanaka, both of whom have little difficulty keeping pace with Chako. The tracks with Matsumoto – generally lighter and more romance-friendly – were recorded at a live Japanese club possessed of better acoustics than what many jazz bums get in the studio. Andrea Hopkins lends her Baptist soprano to seven tracks that move along breezily, most endearingly so on “Almost Like Being In Love.” – Eric W. Saeger, Skope Magazine

Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz – January 22, 2016:

Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd offers a rewarding experience for afficionados of the piano/guitar duet setting. Both of the pianists acquit themselves quite well, but the guitar is the primary instrument featured on most of these tracks. The theme of Henry Mancini’s opening tune, “The Days of Wine and Roses,” is, however, stated by Matsumoto. When Chako steps forward for his solo, he employs the Wes Montgomery octave-style approach in a most facile fashion. The album consists of a number of romantic and intimate ballads like Bruno Martino’s “Estate” and Robinson/Burdge’s “Portrait of Jenny,” where the guitar weaves the lyrical melody with gently flowing single-line solos. – Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz

Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide – January 22, 2016:

The latest album from Greg Chako, a guitarist specializing in jazz standards from the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, is a collection of duet performances with his comrades. These are essentially jazz trio pieces, but without the bass. Despite the absence of a bass, Chako’s performance style lends itself to rhythmic accompaniment, using his thumb for the majority of the notes, a la Wes Montgomery. Playing in alternating combination with Chako’s guitar are a pair of pianists, Homei Matsumoto and Hiroshi Tanaka, both of whom can accompany quite well. – Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide (AMG)

Jim Carlton, Just Jazz Guitar – January 22, 2016:

This CD, he features two of his favorites, both splendid talents, Homei Matsumoto and Hiroshi Tanaka. They’re sophisticated and inventive soloists, and either would be an asset to any first-rate jazz group. And I’m sure Chako is thrilled to be working with such superb talent. But then, there’s the issue of keeping a bass line moving, something no doubt endemic to American musicians. Chako is really earning his money because, when he’s not soloing, he’s not laying out. Sure, both pianists get a left hand line going, but it’s without the authority in timbre or resonance that a bass line on a guitar produces, much less a bass fiddle. When Chako solos, his lines are original and imaginative, with a crisp attack, but mostly a big, warm tone. Any jazz guitar enthusiast should have Greg Chako on radar. He has a cool situation in the Far East where he’s found some extraordinary piano players. But he’s worthy of any jazz group anywhere and has something that’s often elusive among guitarists: a style! More power to him. – Jim Carlton, Just Jazz Guitar

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Where We Find Ourselves: CD
  • Where We Find Ourselves: CD

Where We Find Ourselves: CD

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$14.99

A double CD in tribute to Chako's late wife, breaking a 4 year recording hiatus with all-original material. Recorded in 2005.

Reviews:

George Carroll, Ejazz News – January 21, 2016:

This is such a composite example of traditional & conventional mainstream bebop…And jazz guitarist Greg Chako holds sway with his extremely tight jazz sextet…….The group playing with a lyricism & dominance that is both powerful & original…. Chako’s original music bringing out the best the ensemble has to proffer. Chako’s style of composing certainly explores the boundaries of both composition & improvising, & his choice of players allows his music to be framed in it’s most vital testimony. This group commands your attention, & will enliven your musical sensibilities indeed! – George Carroll, Ejazz News

J Sin, Smother Magazine – January 21, 2016:

Smooth jazz rhythms are domineered by this fine guitar player named Greg Chako. His style is rhythmic and uplifting. Trippy atmospheres are swirled around his traditional jazz background. “Where We Find Ourselves” is a compelling double disc album stocked with some truly enjoyable jazz pieces. – J Sin, Smother Magazine

  1. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz – January 21, 2016:

His prowess on the guitar is evident from the first lick you hear and to me his style is comparable to the great Wes Montgomery and the contemporary Pat Metheny. What impressed me most was not so much his musicianship as his writing. Greg’s original charts are rich and full of refreshing new melodies and rhythms. – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz (Dual Review – Where We Find Ourselves and Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd)

  1. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz – January 21, 2016:

The music has a cool groove to it, especially “Winter Solstice” one of a collection of 15 tunes over two CDs that swing nicely. They are songs based on standards with fresh melodies and harmonies. Greg is a confident guitarist at ease sharing the stage. There is nice work on trombone by Pat Hallaran. It doesn’t stop there as Andy Bevan (sax) and Robbie Belgrade (cl) also make strong contributions. This is not to slight Chako who displays prowess on his instrument throughout but only to stress the balance. The result is music that is not fatiguing. – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz

Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap – January 21, 2016:

Talk about a reality check on so many levels. What kind of balls does it take to record a double album of all original jazz in four days and make it sound like a classic Bluenote, World Pacific or Verve date? Someone must have grown up eating Rudy Van Gelder sessions for breakfast to absorb this kind of vibe. Chako straddles being familiar and unique in the same interval with such style that you’re sure you’ve been here before but you know you haven’t. This is simply a delightful heaping helping of cool jazz that moves and grooves and is sure to win you over before the first track is over. Why is this guy recording for his own label? You put the machine behind this cat and you could crash Amazon’s servers. – Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Jim Santella, All About Jazz – January 21, 2016:

With his sextet of jazz improvisers and program of original tunes, guitarist Greg Chako stretches out with a smooth session of aural impressions. Warmth, inner passion and heartfelt charm pervade his writing, which addresses matters of the heart. “Love for Sale,” features tenor and trombone in an uptempo romp that has Chako moving incessantly with guitar splashes in rapid-fire motion. Fast and quick, but always seamless and fluid, the guitarist paints a peaceful landscape throughout this two-CD release that’s recommended for its smooth countenance and adherence to tradition. – Jim Santella, All About Jazz

Norman Famous, The Dotted Line – January 21, 2016:

Greg Chako and his mighty 2-disc collection, Where We Find Ourselves. Like The Bias Project, it’s a worthy, heartfelt effort with great arrangements and stellar playing. Beautifully packaged and dedicated to his late wife, it’s hard to find fault with this. There is one heck of a lot of music here. – Norman Famous, The Dotted Line

Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide (AMG) – January 21, 2016:

Where We Find Ourselves pulls out the berets and bongos for a little more of a post-bop sound. The inclusion of a full band necessarily reduces the time that Chako spends being at the forefront, with other players taking turns at solos (trombonist Pat Hallaran blows a few nice ones) and the band as a whole turning some very nice contemporary melodic lines in tandem. The music is quietly understated, but with flights of fancy still built in. It’s good, and it’s heartfelt in both composition and performance. Worth a spin. – Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide (AMG)

an Lautenbach, Jazz Dimensions, Germany, 2006 – January 21, 2016:

“Easy, mellow and thoughtful: The new release “Where We Find Ourselves” by jazz guitarist Greg Chako, is fresh and shows a lot of variety in cultivated jazz arrangements. Though some of the tunes on this 2-CD set are based on standards he enjoyed improvising on, this new album is more a work of individual compositions, expressing Chako`s current state of mind… The result on one hand sounds like standard jazz, with friendly wind instrumental dialogues and soft choruses of guitar, and on the other hand, a mix of unusual, exotic sounds like that of the didgeridoo! The repertoire is wide, from swing to samba, to creative expressive sounds. You can also hear Kaleb James singing two vocal numbers with lyrics written by Greg Chako himself!” – Jan Lautenbach, Jazz Dimensions, Germany, 2006

Mihoko Wada – January 21, 2016:

“I am listening to your CDs everyday. They are great!! I think it`s a new sound. It is exciting and exotic, while some music is warm and gentle. Each member of the band gives a superb performance. I also could find various kinds of ‘sound’ in this CD. (A lot of percussion appears, too.) It is fresh for me, and will be ‘my daily music’ for the time being…” – Mihoko Wada

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Integration II: CD
  • Integration II: CD

Integration II: CD

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$9.99

This 2nd session features more of a fusion sound with tabla, didjeridu, and African percussion. Recorded in 2000.

Reviews:

Jazz Newsletter O’s Place, USA – January 21, 2016:

” Integration II continues the trend (of Integration I), but with more fusion elements. Solid and entertaining modern jazz with Latin, straight ahead, and contemporary/fusion based songs. Performance 4 stars, Sound 4 stars” – Jazz Newsletter O’s Place, USA

Sound Waves Magazine, Don Sikorski, USA – January 21, 2016:

“Greg Chako is a dynamic American jazz guitarist and Integration II features the entire spectrum of swing, Latin rhythms, blues, ballads, and Brazilian drum sounds. It’s an exotic mix of diverse jazz melodies, each offering a unique sound and feel. The guitar playing is delivered with a warmth and precision, providing an inspirational element to all tracks. Chakos’ tropical island inspirations can clearly be heard on aptly titled tracks like French Island Fantasy and Afro-Asian Chant. With Chako covering nearly every jazz style in one package, this is ideal listening for first time jazz listeners as well. It’s enjoyable from start to finish, with Chako and his band delivering well-crafted melodies and harmonies with a unique combination of instruments played to perfection! ” – Sound Waves Magazine, Don Sikorski, USA

Straits Times, Singapore, 2001 – January 21, 2016:

Integration II: “Chakos’ strongest recording to date. “Tokong Burung”, is a locally-inspired extended composition. The inclusion of didjeridu adds to the exotic sound mix while drums, percussion, and tabla maintain the restless underlying beat. On “The Sweet One”, Chako shows off his sensitive side both as a composer and a guitarist. “Smooth Ride” is a confident swinger with a catchy call and response theme. French Island Fantasy has soaring solos and a happy feel, despite an underlying tension set up by the spacious first theme and the agitated funk of the second theme. Fine Aussie Weathered is neatly swinging. Ocean Blues marks a return to Chakos’ trio roots, with a touch of Wes Montgomery. The Hunny Lady is the only piece on the album not written by Chako, and this breezy number is graced by good solos.” – Straits Times, Singapore, 2001

Keith ‘MuzikMan’ Hannaleck, JazzReviews, USA, 2002 – January 21, 2016:

“Integration I & II is the culmination of many studio hours, tremendous discipline, concentration, and the ability to employ all musical strengths in every composition. These two recordings are a jazz mosaic painted with the very best of cultural, ethnic, and musical sensibilities. That striking combination provides a sumptuousness and extensiveness in the music that is rarely found in any genre.

Whether it’s the be-bop of ‘Funky Monkey’ or the gentle acoustic flow of ‘Smooth Ride’ ala Joe Pass, this collection of songs has something for everyone’s taste. Every jazz discipline, or parts thereof, is given an acknowledgement. Chako is up to the task on the electric or acoustic six-string, allowing the necessary elasticity for each song to build upon itself and congeal. After over 130 minutes of a trip around the jazz galaxy, I think it’s safe to say that Greg Chako and his magnificent band are one of the world’s best kept secrets. The word is now out; don’t hesitate in seeking out this essential jazz experience.” – Keith ‘MuzikMan’ Hannaleck, JazzReviews, USA, 2002

Jazz Dimensions, Germany, 2002 – January 21, 2016:

“Greg is a proven guitarist and a great talent. Integration II is full of nuances, integrating fusion, blues, and swing. His guitar shines and he creates a new style, breathing exotic jazz-ethno music full of spirit and solid musical foundation” – Jazz Dimensions, Germany, 2002

Professor Vince Lewis, for Just Jazz Guitar, USA Feb 2002 – January 21, 2016:

“…This is music that transcends geographic boundaries and cultures, and communicates the happiness and friendship that all music should provide… Chakos’ tunes are well-crafted, harmonically strong, with catchy, memorable melodies (unlike many contemporary offerings today). Chakos’ tone and phrasing are exceptional! Thoughtfully created and and perfectly executed, this is a very positive musical statement from an extremely talented composer and performer…” – Professor Vince Lewis, for Just Jazz Guitar, USA Feb 2002

Larry Nai, Cadence, New York, 2002 – January 21, 2016:

“Guitarist Greg Chako has a fat, aggressively beautiful tone… Whether pushing delicious lines along like he’s in a Bop dream state (“Smooth Ride”), or passing pianist Michael Stanton a subtly different color feel to work from at the end of his “Hunny Lady” solo, Chako’s playing is consistently satisfying. As a writer he has a talent for scoring long, involved melodies that open like wings into the solo spaces. Check out the opening ” Tokong Burung” for instance, whose winding melody employs tension and release masterfully. “French Island Fantasy” could almost fit onto Pharoah Sanders “Thembi”. The superb “Afro-Asian Chant”, reminiscent of McCoy Tyners “Sama Layuca”, heats up to boiling, staying on the stove through a potent combination of cross rhythms and kicks. The one traditional Guitar trio piece, “Ocean Blues”, is appropriately spacious, with Edmond Bransons’ fine cymbal work evoking the shimmer of white-capped waves. With a vibrant recorded presence, this is HUGELY enjoyable stuff!” – Larry Nai, Cadence, New York, 2002

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Integration : CD
  • Integration : CD

Integration : CD

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$9.99

Resembling a live Blue Note blowing session, this contains all originals except Poinciana. Recorded in 1999.

Reviews:

Jazz Newsletter O’s Place – January 22, 2016:

“… a blend of musicians and music of different cultures. His jazzy playing is relaxed and confident. Most of the upbeat tunes share a groove that will your head bounce. Of note are “Coming Home”, ” Inspiration Blues”, and “Poinciana”… solid and entertaining! Performance 4 stars, Sound 4 stars” – Jazz Newsletter O’s Place, USA

The New Paper, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

A musical gem deserving wider recognition… tastefully fuses local ethno-cultural influences into his music… the improvisations and the compositions are strong… everyone sounds like they were having a ball in the studio and the line-up is impressive… the best thing is that it covers a wide range of jazz styles, an inspiring CD made all the more so by a guitarist who plays only with his thumb…” – The New Paper, Singapore

Straits Times, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

Many nationalities, but one great sound!… Chako executes a dashing solo on the medium-fast ‘Coming Home’ to open the proceedings. ‘Saito’s Serenade’ is a tender waltz, followed by fusion-flavored accents on ‘Sulawesi Sky’. ‘Inspiration Blues’ is a twisting tune unleashing a burst of energy for the swinging solos that follow. Chako switches to a mellow mood and legato phrasing on ‘From the Heart’, with a neatly done trombone voicing behind the guitar. ‘Poinciana’ is given a swaying rendition, enhanced by didjeridu background. ‘Funky Monkey’, perhaps the highlight of this CD, locks into an infectious Latin groove that’s relaxed and catchy… Chako is determined to leave an imprint, enriching the local entertainment and cultural scene for a long time…” – Straits Times, Singapore

8 Days Magazine – January 22, 2016:

The playing all around is marked by effortlessly fluid solos, and Chako’s playing manages to be appropriately groovy (‘Funky Monkey’), tense-spacey (‘From the Heart’), and ferocious (the boppish blues ‘Inspiration Blues’), while sacrificing none of that coming- right-at-cha feeling…” – 8 Days Magazine, Singapore

IS Magazine – January 22, 2016:

Put nine original jazz compositions, one excellant guitarist and some talented jazz cats in the studio. Add a dash of Latin rythmn and an occasional sprinkle of Australian aboriginal instrument, the didjeridu. Mix well and savour slowly. The product: a musical concoction so potent, it’ll have listeners craving for more! …Chako tries his hand at composing and the results exceed expectations, bringing us on a musical journey through funky grooves, laidback tunes and romantic ballads. The cast oozes with class and style, making listening a sheer joy. ‘Integration’ is a magnificent showcase of immense jazz talent sure to turn heads among jazz aficionados worldwide…” – IS Magazine, Singapore

Jazz Journal International – January 22, 2016:

“Chako has a laid back approach with clean and attractive guitar lines… Pianist Mei Sheum has a delicate touch and provides stimulating accompanying lines… Perera plays the Australian didjeridu which adds substance on ‘Sulawesi Sky’… ‘From the Heart’ is a good ballad with interesting counter lines from trombonist Hill, and a mellow solo from the leader… the title track, ‘Integration’, is a brisk Latin styled swinger with appropriately well integrated ensemble work and solid solos (with the leader in Wes Montgomery mode)… the percussionist, Thornton, gets a good workout and nice trading with the drums… alot of work has gone into the preparation and arrangements for this session and the result is very enjoyable mainstream jazz!” – Jazz Journal International, UK

Cadence Magazine – January 22, 2016:

“Chako, the composer, takes his inspiration from the rich Blue Note lode. Echoes of Shorter, Hancock,and Dorham reverberate through these tunes with the opening “Coming Home”, and the driving “Inspiration Blues”, powered by Edmond Bransons’ offbeat high-hat setting the tone. ” From the Heart” ventures into more contemporary, easy-listening jazz territory. Otherwise, the pieces all sound like they could have found a home in the Jazz Messengers’ book. They fall easy on the ear and sound like they’d be rewarding to blow on, and as such fulfill the composer’s intent. Chako benefits from uniformly heartfelt performances from all hands, and his own playing is, as usual, clean-lined and to the point. This is a fine addition to his growing discography.” – Cadence Magazine, USA, 2001

David Nathan – January 22, 2016:

Integration : “Hard Bop is the focus of most cuts often mixed with rhythms and sounds of the Far East. The biting, driving caustic tenor of Otrie Barrett Jr. has a major role throughout. He’s heard to good effect on the title tune where his sax weaves in and out with Chakos’ guitar and Singaporean native Joshua Wans’ piano. This cut recalls those exciting hard blowing small group sessions of the 1960s which featured Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd and Jackie McLean et. al. There’s an effective mix of hard bop and Latin on “Coming Home” with Otrie Barretts’ sax and former Miles Davis’ percussionist Steve Thorntons’ bongos leading the way on an exciting eight plus minute album opener. The didjeridu is featured along with the percussion on the exotic “Sulawesi Sky”, with the Australian instrument emitting sounds of the Australian outback. Matters turn bluesy with “Inspiration Blues” and the jazz funk on “Funky Monkey” with Barretts’ sax taking on a Jimmy Forrest mien on the latter. Chakos’ single stringed guitar playing highlights a lovely ballad “From the Heart”.

Chako wrote all compositions but one. All show a flair for imaginative application of tempo and harmony filled with some unexpected jagged rhythmic diversions guaranteed to keep listener attention. Integration is recommended! – David Nathan, All Music Guide, USA, 2001

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Everything I Love: CD
  • Everything I Love: CD

Everything I Love: CD

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$7.99

Guitar trio recorded live in 1994 at the Captain's Bar of the Oriental, Hong Kong. Featuring 4 Horace Silver songs, standards, bebop.

Reviews:

BC Magazine – January 22, 2016:

“Pure Magic!” – BC Magazine, Hong Kong

AustralAsian Jazz-n-Blues Magazine – January 22, 2016:

“The choice of material helps set this essentially mainstream group apart… Chako remains focused on the fine art of melodic invention” – AustralAsian Jazz-n-Blues Magazine

Jazz Guitar Society – January 22, 2016:

“A fine debut album of mainstream jazz guitar… Greg gets a nice warm tone and has a good feel” – Jazz Guitar Society, Australia

Hong Kong Magazine – January 22, 2016:

“Distinguished by warm, limber performances… Chako has a real vitality and affinity for his material and the loose informality of the proceedings are a real strength… Production values are admirably high” – Hong Kong Magazine

TV and Entertainment Times – January 22, 2016:

“Beautifully recorded intimate jazz… Chako’s fat, warm guitar sound leads the way” – TV and Entertainment Times, Hong Kong

String Jazz, England – January 22, 2016:

“Subtle, swinging and melodic… Chako provides ample evidence that there is a lot more to come” – String Jazz, England

Eastern Express, Hong Kong – January 22, 2016:

“Very good-elegant, tasteful, and impeccably played chamber jazz… Performed with considerable elan … Their playing is supple and responsive” – Eastern Express, Hong Kong

Just Jazz Guitar, USA – January 22, 2016:

“The technical constraints of playing with his thumb nurture a lyricism and maturity seldom found… Everything about this CD, from the choice of material to the sensitive support, oozes class…His tone is warm, yet incisive… It’s a refreshing CD, with no meaningless flights of technical virtuosity or unnecessary electronic processing” – Just Jazz Guitar, USA

Jazz Journal International, England – January 22, 2016:

“Lilting, persuasive lines, a fat, rich guitar sound, big toned bass, and sensitive, thrusting drumming… The group certainly swings, and there is considerable empathy between the players… Inducing a relaxed mood in the listener” – Jazz Journal International, England

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Live At Raffles: CD
  • Live At Raffles: CD

Live At Raffles: CD

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$9.99

The Greg Chako Trio and friends, Live at the Bar & Billiard Room, Raffles Hotel, Singapore, 1997.

Reviews:

Singapore Straits Times – January 22, 2016:

“…tasteful mainstream… Greg Chako is all mellow glow… – Singapore Straits Times

Elle Magazine – January 22, 2016:

“…Billy Martinez’s lazy, mellow voice is a joy to listen to… Chako’s guitar flows… A class act!” – Elle Magazine

Jazz Guitar Society, Australia – January 22, 2016:

“…recorded live in the world famous Raffles Hotel, some funky latin-jazz tunes, Martinez’s fine warm resonant cabaret type voice… will further enhance Greg Chako’s growing reputation…” – Jazz Guitar Society, Australia

Jazz Journal, U.K. – January 22, 2016:

“…the leader’s burnished, luminous guitar lines throbbing along with a crisp backing from bass, drum, and tart tenor sax… negotiated with agile skill… laid back vocals and lovely guitar backings on every track… on a funky, fuzzy blues Greg pulls out all the stops, gets low down and dirty, and engages his best licks in a seven minute selection almost worth the price of the CD alone… – Jazz Journal, U.K.

Big O Magazine, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

“Swingin’ laidback jazz with Martinez’s captivating voice predominating… Not to be outdone, Chako’s understated singing, Montgomery-style guitar with Barrett’s breezy sax blending in beautifully… Rhythmic and percussive back-up well delineated.” – Big O Magazine, Singapore

Sound Advice, IS Magazine, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

“…the songs’ expressive depth emerge in the sensitivity of the performance. Phrasing and control are immaculate, and the range of 14 songs, at times intense, is always enjoyable. The real surprises are ‘It Had to be You’, ‘Teach Me Tonight’, and ‘Antonio’s Song’, in which the musical and dramatic continuity is fluent and delightful… The Bar and Billiard Room at Raffles, where this CD was recorded live, contains some of the colour, francophile richness and opulent finesse, as well as furnishings of a bygone era. Thanks to this CD, an evening in the Bar and Billiard Room in the company of the Trio, and sometimes friends, can happily be revived again and again…” – Sound Advice, IS Magazine, Singapore

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Sudden Impact: CD
  • Sudden Impact: CD

Sudden Impact: CD

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$9.99

Reviews:

The Straits Times – January 22, 2016:

“Sudden Impact is a nicely balanced mix of standards and originals. His electric guitar seems most at home at languid or mid-tempos, although he can stoke the fires of faster numbers with deft chordings. Everyone plays solidly, with mutual understanding and respect. As a result, the CD conveys the feel of a long, satisfying set in a jazz club.” – The Straits Times

Etc. Magazine, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

“It’s sometimes easy to forget what a wealth of musicianship we have on this island. Guitarist Greg Chako has managed to expose o bit more of that… refreshing…” – Etc. Magazine, Singapore

I-S Magazine, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

“This disc is so well done… Guitarist Chako plays with crystal-clear style, and every note seems to bounce off his strings and into your ears… a fine effort. ” – I-S Magazine, Singapore

Just Jazz Guitar, USA – January 22, 2016:

“Enthusiasts will enjoy this album… relaxed groove, lovely trio settings, unusually bright post bebop style… and octaves are all handled Hauthoritatively… a wonderful showcase for Chako.” – Just Jazz Guitar, USA

String Jazz, U.K. – January 22, 2016:

“But in the end it’s Chako’s playing which shines through. The use of the thumb gives that fat, mellow sound beloved of most mainstream enthusiasts. Couple that to some sensitve, melodic and lyrical playing and what we have here is a fine CD that should only enhance Greg’s growing reputation. A step upwards and onwards and definately worth an audition!” – String Jazz, U.K.

Cincinnati Jazz Guitar Society, USA – January 22, 2016:

“…well done and great listening… Greg has tremendous chops, but doesn’t try to overwhelm you with his technique. Instead he plays straight ahead with intelligence and style.” – Cincinnati Jazz Guitar Society, USA

BC Magazine, Hong Kong – January 22, 2016:

“…this talented guitarist is famed for his impressive playing style which is based around the use of his thumb. The covers are first class and will have you drifting off to another world. For the original material, listen G out for Fried Curry Pies, and Jones’in, both of which are quite excellent.” – BC Magazine, Hong Kong

Jazz Journal, England – January 22, 2016:

“If you like warm, mellow guitar with gently flowing lines and occasional bursts of lush chords, you’ll like this. Greg favors the use of his thumb to produce the rich sound he achieves… neatly pulsating lines, melodic, swinging and inventive. The music swings compulsively at all times… the leader’s exotic sound and constantly inventive lines, the mainstream appeal of familiar material being given a refreshing twist, and a driving rhythmn section. Those qualities should be enough to suit most tastes.” – Jazz Journal, England

Big O Magazine, Singapore – January 22, 2016:

“…just warm, sensitive uncluttered lines that make for excellent rewinding… most of the tracks are upbeat, exceptional ones being Jones’in and Fried Curry Pies, both Chako originals… The jewel to Sudden Impact’s crown, however, is Chako’s re-read of the pop classic, People. The band rides the tide of the haunting melody mostly but still manages elegant probing by surging midway through the song… Like tai chi masters, Chako et al prove ag Xain that beauty lies in control and grace, not excess and discord. ” – Big O Magazine, Singapore

Cadence Magazine, USA – January 22, 2016:

“…old standbys get spiced up with latin rhythmns, experiencing a sudden ubiquity and fresh sound… The originals have a contemporary sound, colored with understated funk and backbeats, and girded with interesting structures… He uses his thumb to execute winningly lyrical lines made up of pillow-like notes… well worth exploring.” – Cadence Magazine, USA

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