QwertyWHAT? Wow, I guess if you’re going to come out funky in an ear-catching fashion from your very first track, you may as well give that track a funky "out there" title the way guitarist Chris Standring does here on Love and Paragraphs. The ever-vibrating dancer piece is called "Qwertyuiop." By the way, take a look at the first line of letter keys on your computer keyboard. Get it now?
Oh, that’s just the beginning here. The title track, which has an interesting origin, continues the smooth melodic funk. The title of this cut stems from Standring’s habit of answering e-mails from fans with one-liners. Despite how lengthy the message or questions may be, the answer to each question is usually a one-liner. That’s understandable, I guess, considering the number of requests and the number of hours in a day! However, at one CD signing, a fan who had written to him previously blurted out, "You owe me more paragraphs!" So, he signed her CD "With love and paragraphs." The rest, as they say, is history. Works for me.
Standring has a style of playing that is both strong and precise, while not being overbearing. The crispness is immediately noticeable. What’s also noticeable is the melody on each piece. It’s consistently alive and discernible. Whether you’re in a foot-tapping mood or a reflective one, he has something that will catch you clean. A good example is one of my favorites, "Liquid Soul," which, with Chris offering some nice keys/synth work, just oozes out cleverly and with such a distinctive melody and bass line. Others do the trick, as well, such as the funky "Ooh Bop" and the slyly titled "C.S. in the Sunshine" (an obvious nod toward the amazing acid jazzers---now apparently and sadly defunct--Count Basic (come back home, guys!!). There’s also "Qu’est-Ce Que Tu Fais?," another with a Count Basic (and Steve Oliver) flavor. The aptly-titled closer, "Reflection" is self-explanatory with its bluesy feel. All in all, count this project among Standring’s winners.