Album Review of
Wonderful World

Written by Joe Ross
August 27, 2021 - 7:21pm EDT
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Los Angeles-based British guitarist Chris Standring shows a penchant for a sentimental, nostalgic and warm sound from his six strings within the embodiment of a 19-piece orchestra. With time on his hands during the pandemic, Standring was able to produce one of his most mature works to date.  To create his magical beauty, he’s put his unique stamp on a number of standards with the help of orchestra conductor/arranger Geoff Gascoyne.  Standring’s California-based rhythm section recorded in Sherman Oaks, and the orchestra recorded in London.  

Standring plays selections like “How Insensitive,” “Night & Day” and “Estate” with single note linearity that emphasizes melody, precision and intonation. The orchestrations for classics like “Autumn in New York,”  “Green Dolphin Street,” “Alfie,” “Falling In Love With Love” and “My Foolish Heart” never become so flowery that they overwhelm or detract from the guitarist’s graceful, refined touch as he reinvents a retro sound reminiscent of yesteryear. “What A Wonderful World” features Kathrin Shorr’s plaintive vocals, and Randy Brecker’s flugelhorn enhances the effervescent sound of Standring’s one original on the album, “Sunrise.”

The sum of all the parts in this delightful collaboration gives us a constantly pleasant, relaxing, heartfelt set. Albeit somewhat conservative in repertoire, Standring and Co. clearly had fun treating classics to graceful and charmingly modest readings that emphasize delicacy and restraint.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)