Music Reviews
Greg Chako

Greg Chako

Tokyo Live!

Mint 400 Records / Raining Music

Greg Chako has released a new concert recording that has the sonic clarity of a studio recording. The acclaimed jazz guitarist has been performing internationally for over 35 years now. Although originally from Cincinnati, he has recorded and played worldwide, offering over 11 albums to the world.

Almost two decades ago, Chako moved to Japan, where he continued to perfect his craft and combine his western background with an eastern musical philosophy, which makes his sound all the more intuitive and unique. Chako’s music could be described as a combination of hard bop, Latin, and fusion with elements of world music.

Tokyo Live!, his most recent concert record, offers a diverse insight into his talent over seven songs. Chako teamed up with drummer Gene Jackson, originally from Philadelphia, and they immediately found a connection overall. Each musician set out to bring something special to the table, eventually joining forces to give the audience an unforgettable experience, one worth capturing for the listeners to look back on, even years from the actual show.

To round out the lineup, Hiroshi Tanaka contributed some amazing piano parts, later joined by Canadian bassist Brent Nussey (known for his work with Diana Krall). The group performed two shows in 2008, and this happens to be a recording of the first of the two. The sound is incredibly smooth and organic. It’s clear from the get-go that something magical was in the air that night! The performance features a set of musicians on top of their game, bringing the music to life in a very special way.

The guitar work is impressive, with Chako wearing the leader hat without necessarily overwhelming the rest of the band. There is a moment for every individual performer to shine while still retaining a jazz guitar drive throughout the whole show. The overall atmosphere that night was arguably special; the group was able to immortalize the moment and capture the magic. Many years went by, but the show still feels fresh and incredibly dynamic, with so much nuance and depth defining the mix.

Tokyo Live!


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