Album Review of
Chicago Standard Time

Written by Robert Silverstein
July 15, 2021 - 4:03pm EDT
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The violin is one of those time-honored instruments that is sometimes overlooked in the instrumental jazz world. Jean-Luc Ponty and Stéphane Grappelli aside, violinists may not be quite as well represented as guitarists and pianists in both jazz and pop music, yet that oversight is resolved with the 2021 CD release of Chicago Standard Time by violinist / composer Diane Delin. Spotlighting the skills of pianist Jodie Christian, the 5-track, 28-minute EP also features the rhythm section of Kelly Sill (bass) and Steve Davis (drums). The sound of the disc makes for a pure mainstream jazz experience that is quite easy on the ears. During the pandemic of 2020, Diane was going through tapes recorded in the past and she found this set recorded way back in 1991 featuring her quartet with the late, great Chicago-based pianist Jodie Christian. Thankfully, as a way to bring this unreleased recording session to light, it was digitized and BluJazz now presents it on CD in all its sonic glory. With pianist Jodie Christian having passed away in February 2012, nearly ten years ago, Chicago Standard Time shines a light on the unique chemistry of these well-rounded instrumentalists and the result is a finely-tuned set of jazzy, acoustic-based instrumentals that includes a lead-off Diane Delin original entitled “For The Moment” combined here with instrumental covers of classics such as Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child” and the timeless George Gershwin classic “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and two others. From Ms. Delin’s notes of the sessions she adds, “In addition to being a friend and a man of goodness, Jodie Christian embodied the Chicago swing of his generation. What I remember from the session is that it was done live without overdubs.” As a testament to the impeccable musicianship on display, there’s hardly a note out of place here. The music on Diane Delin’s Chicago Standard Time swings-it-lightly on a short but sweet, and quite historic, set sure to find welcome ears among mainstream jazz enthusiasts.