Four Corners by Craig Chaquico
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Craig Chaquico continues his conversion from eclectic pop guitarist to smooth jazz disciple on this, his fifth solo project and his first recording since From the Redwoods to the Rockies
, a 1998 collaboration with contemporary jazz icon Russ Freeman. Here the nimble fretwork and fresh, free-spirited qualities of his early solo works are largely submerged in a sax-heavy ensemble in which Chaquico plays a supplementary role. At times, such as during the languid "Haight Ashbury," you may think you're listening to Earl Klugh, not the former guitarist for Jefferson Starship
. With low-key, groove-minded production from Freeman, Rick Braun, Paul Brown (Boney James), and William Aura (3rd Force), smooth jazz fans likely will find many relaxing moments here. It should be noted that the album's title track is actually a smooth-jazz reworking of a top-down, open-road Chaquico classic, "Acoustic Traveler," from A Thousand Pictures
. The album's highlight: "Arizona Daybreak," where Chaquico allows himself to stretch out and let his six strings sing. --Terry Wood