Album Review of
Simple Things

Written by Joe Ross
June 22, 2022 - 10:08pm EDT
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British-born, L.A.-based guitarist/composer Chris Standring is a prolific musician and ace on the 21st century smooth jazz scene. Simple Things harkens back to just that, a few basic things that keep us all going and trudging ahead. After experiencing a heart attack in early 2021, Standring wrote “Too Close for Comfort” and decided that the theme for this all-original album should be one of reflection, love, joy, positivity, hope, and a little sadness. Besides guitar, the savy arranger recorded keyboards and programming on all eleven tracks that take us on a chill journey from the opening “Shadow of Doubt” to the concluding “And the Show Goes On.” Simple Things features his regular bandmates Andre Berry (bass) and Chris Coleman (drums), as well as guests Rodney Lee (keys), Kevin Axt (bass) and Gary Meek (tenor sax) on one grooving cut, “Don’t Get Me Started.”    

After attending the London College of Music, Standring became a serious professional and relocated to Los Angeles in 1991 where he liked the West Coast vibe. Since releasing his first album in 1998, Chris has put out over a dozen more.  He writes every day and is a musician who is clearly dedicated to his craft. No stranger to funk, he was influenced by Prince and Bootsy Collins when composing “Shadow of Doubt,” “Thank You Bootsy” and “Face to Face.” When released as a single, “Change the World” reached #1 on Billboard.

With a penchant for a sentimental, nostalgic and warm sound from his six strings, Standring succeeds with another fine set of smooth guitar instrumentals.  Playing with grace, charm, delicacy and restraint, Standring believes in being present in the moment.  Simple Things continues to put his music at the forefront of the smooth jazz genre. It’s romantic yet funky, infectious yet mellow, chill yet hot. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)