The success of Chris Standring’s groundbreaking 2010 CD Blue Bolero, which topped several year-end lists and produced a No. 1 single, made it a tough act for the guitarist to follow. But Standring has managed quite nicely with Electric Wonderland, his brand new 10-song CD of original songs that fuses elements of Blue Bolero’s orchestral touches with a deft jazz-pop touch that’s been a hallmark of Standring’s stellar career. “I feel like it’s an extension of Blue Bolero, but a bit more playful and upbeat,” says Standring. “It also came out much dreamier. And of course I’m playing electric guitar, so I wanted to merge the two when naming
On Electric Wonderland, Standring’s longtime fans, as well as guitar aficionados, may recognize that he’s doing two new things here. The first is that, in keeping with the CD’s title, he’s traded his archtop jazz guitar — which imparts a much more acoustic sound — for a Fender Stratocaster, whose strings and solid-body infuses his music with a more expressive sound. “The Fender Strat guitar gives you an electric quality,” Standring says. “Because I’m a jazz player, I wanted to get a jazz sound out of that instrument, but to be expressive in the way a rock guitarist might, such as with bending the strings.”
With Electric Wonderland, Standring is sure to draw more accolades from both music critics and his ever-growing fan base. JazzTimes Magazine has twice named his CDs the best of the year, while 2010’s Blue Bolero was named CD of the year by the influential Art Good’s JazzTrax, and the song “Bossa Blue” — which was No. 1 for nine weeks — was named Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz song of the year in 2010.