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Tuesday, September 28, 2004



NEW ON CD




art
COURTESY OF BILL REITZEL / HIGHER OCTAVE
Craig Chaquico opts for a smooth ride.




Chaquico is on track
with smooth jazz CD


Chaquico, once second gun in the Jefferson Starship guitar stable, is an emotive, inventive and effortlessly melodic lead guitarist.

"Midnight Moon"
Craig Chaquico (Higher Octave Records)

This album will land with a thunk in the "Smooth Jazz" rack -- the title is a kind of inside joke among jazz musicians, for whom things don't start cookin' until after midnight -- and it showcases his keen sense of tone as well.

Chaquico is an instrument aficionado and uses dozens of different guitars here.

As smooth jazz goes, the record is a shining example. It gallops along on cheerfully complex polyrhythms and odd time signatures, while Chaquico's signature fingering floats and stings overhead, creating what melody there is. Fans of this sound will embrace this record.

Others, however, used to tunes with structure and dynamics and emotion, will classify this disc as the sort of thing you listen to while on hold. There's so little sense of dynamics here that the tunes could easily be looped and repeat endlessly. Even home runs have to return to earth.



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