Blue Bolero by Chris Standring

Blue Bolero by Chris Standring.

It has been my ambition for many years to record an album with an orchestra. With the recent demise of all jazz record labels I figured that if I was going to make this happen I would have to grab the bull by the horns. So I did. I also wanted to take a major left turn musically on this album and as soon as I started messing around with orchestral samples, the drive to realize this project became much bigger than me.

The entire album is extremely cinematic and represents, in a somewhat vague fashion, the journey I took as a musically driven youngster to the person I am today, still musically driven but just that little bit older. From my upbringing on a farm outside Aylesbury in England, making the move to London and finally the big move to Los Angeles, California, Blue Bolero is kind of the movie of my life so far.

Not wishing to make myself sound too dark, windswept and let’s face it, infernally annoying, the concept of this somewhat autobiographical project certainly was meant to be fun, but with musical elements that reflect my musical training, influences and cultural surroundings. This is something I have certainly not entertained on previous albums. The music here is based around several themes and represents a very reflective mood throughout. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.

All the best!

Pat Metheny: The Pat Metheny Interviews

The Pat Metheny Interviews: The Inner Workings of His Creativity Revealed

This book is now available in New Zealand and a definite recommended read for musicians and non musicians alike.

In 2007, composer, arranger and performer Richard Niles wrote, produced and hosted a three-part radio series for the BBC titled “Pat Metheny – Bright Size Life.” The discussions Niles had with Metheny for the series covered all aspects of the this well known musician who has played an important role for both guitar and jazz music. It covers everything from Metheny’s first awareness of his love for music to knowledge and wisdom gained from years of dedicated musicianship.

This book is a transcription of those and other interviews Niles conducted with Pat Metheny over time.
It’s a surprisingly easy to read, without the loss of detail for the sake of brevity.

The subtitle of “The Pat Metheny Interviews” states it’s “The inner workings of his creativity revealed.”
While this may seem like a considerable claim to make, the book delivers on promise.
Niles and Metheny discuss topics such as why he was driven towards music with such enormous drive and dedication, how he developed his style and approach; how he set and achieved his demanding goals; Metheny’s methodology as a guitarist, improviser and composer.

Transcriptions of what he played during the interviews appear in the book. Additionally the book has contributions from some of Metheny’s colleagues like Lyle Mays, Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci, Metheny’s brother, Mike Metheny, and the late Michael Brecker, as well as a number of rare photographs from Metheny’s private collection.

Whether or not your a fan, it is pretty hard to deny his exemplary musicianship. His first solo album, “Bright Size Life” (1976), has been highly influential  for a new generation of players. He’s won a great number of  “Best Jazz Guitarist” polls and awards which include three Gold records for “(Still Life) Talking,” “Letter From Home” and “Secret Story,” 12 Grammy Awards, including an unprecedented seven consecutive wins.

He performed with Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie. His writing partnership with Lyle Mays has been compared to Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn. His body of work includes compositions for large orchestras, film and ballet. He has been a pioneer in the realm of electronic music with the Synclavier and the electric sitar and is known to have developed new types of acoustic instruments such as the fretless guitar, the soprano acoustic guitar and the 42-string Pikasso guitar.

The Pat Metheny Interviews: The Inner Workings of His Creativity Revealed

The book can be obtained through Fishpond by clicking on the cover of the book on the left.

And for those of you that may be interested in his music, try out the following albums which I can highly recommend.Of course the first album to appear here is Bright Size Life, his debut album that changed the face of jazz guitar playing. Just click on the album covers below to listen to samples and buy the CD.

Bright Size Life

Another favorite of mine is Travels.


Or perhaps just browse around yourself using the keyword “metheny” in the search box below.


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