Greg Chako

Everything I Love

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Recorded live in Hong Kong, this is guitarist Greg Chako's debut as a leader. It's also the occasion for his return to his first love, playing jazz. He left the music profession for a career selling industrial real estate in New York and it wasn't until six years later that he started playing again in Hong Kong, where this album was produced. Chako gets his full-bodied, warm sound from the guitar because he uses his thumb instead of a pick, like one of his main influences, Wes Montgomery. This may reduce his speed, but his style calls for a relaxed approach to the music, rather than a hectic one. The friendly sound of the Chako guitar is heard to good effect on such cuts as Horace Silver's (who is represented by four tunes on the play list) little-played gem "Gregory Is Here" and on a more renowned Silver composition, "Strollin'," where Chako introduces his block-chords technique. Chako shows some imagination by playing tunes in a manner slightly different than they are usually heard. One example of this intriguing predilection is a medium-tempo run through of "Daahoud." The slower tempo allows Chako and his cohorts to make sure that none of the improvisational prospects of the Clifford Brown-penned tune are overlooked. Turning from jazz to pop standard "Everything I Love" shows more of his extemporization modes as the guitarist works in and around the melody atop the persistent, not intrusive, beat of Anthony Fernandes' drums and understated bass of Ernest Provencher. Chako's clean-stringed technique allows for well-shaped phrases and clear passages with nothing getting lost in heavy chordal smearing.

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