Smooth jazz guitarist Chris Standring was born and raised in Buckinghamshire, England; classically trained at the London College of Music, he further honed his skills during a decade spent working for the BBC as well as a number of theatrical orchestras on London's West End. From there, Standring relocated to Los Angeles, where he became a top session player after recording with everyone from Bebe & Cece Winans to Jody Watley and Carole Bayer Sager. In 1996, he also teamed with keyboardist Rodney Lee to helm the acid jazz combo SolarSystem. After touring for a year-and-a-half with trumpeter Rick Braun, Standring issued his solo debut, Velvet, in 1999, scoring the smooth jazz radio hit "Cool Shades." Hip Sway appeared a year later, followed by Groovalicious in 2003. In 2006, Standring delivered his fourth solo effort, Soul Express, which featured more chilled-out instrumental R&B, as well as a reworking of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps."
Starting with 2008's Love & Paragraphs, Standring began releasing albums on his own Ultimate Vibe Recordings label. Along with the label change came a somewhat more ambitious musical direction that found the guitarist incorporating strings, Latin rhythms, and expansive compositions to his repertoire. His 2010 release, Blue Bolero, featured collaborations with violinist Barbara Porter and included the single "Bossa Blue," which hit number one on the contemporary jazz charts. Two years later, he returned with the similarly ambitious Electric Wonderland. His 2014 album, Don't Talk, Dance!, showcased an electronica-influenced sound and featured the single "Sneakin' Out the Front Door," which hit number one on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart. In 2016, Standring returned with Ten, a more hardcore jazz-influenced production inspired by his love of both Pat Martino and George Benson. Included on Ten was the single "Ready Steady Flow." The following year he released the concert LP Live in London, which featured special guest Mica Paris. ~ Jason Ankeny