"Integration I & II" is the culmination of many studio hours, tremendous discipline, concentration, and the ability to employ all musical strengths in every composition. Chako says that "Integration" has a multi-purpose meaning. In terms of relating on a human level it refers to the four aspects of our being; spirit, emotion, intellect, and body. On a level concerning the music it’s relating to the diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds found in Chako’s band. When was the last time you heard, if ever, the didgeridoo used in a contemporary jazz setting? I can’t say I ever have. I found it very complimentary, and it gives the music a distinctness and world feel to it without it taking anything away. Instead of dismantling the essence and core of a composition it enhances it. These two recordings are a jazz mosaic painted with the very best of cultural, ethnic, and musical sensibilities. That striking combination provides a sumptuousness and extensiveness in the music that is rarely found in any genre.
Whether it’s the Be Bop of "Funky Monkey" or the gentle acoustic flow of "Smooth Ride" ala Joe Pass, this collection of songs has something for everyone’s taste. Every jazz discipline, or parts thereof, is given an acknowledgement. Chako is up to the task on the electric or acoustic six-string, allowing the necessary elasticity for each song to build upon itself and congeal. After over 130 minutes of a trip around the jazz galaxy, I think it’s safe to say that Greg Chako and his magnificent band are one of the world’s best kept secrets. The word is now out; don’t hesitate in seeking out this essential jazz experience.