This latest release from guitarist Craig Chaquico has a lot to offer, and keeps you riveted to your seat waiting to see what’s coming next. The songs are pushed along by Wade Olson’s drums as well as Jim Reitzel’s bass. The disc’s title is taken from “jazz noon” or in other words, midnight. The songs included here definitely take place after midnight.
“Her Boyfriend’s Wedding” is a fast-paced number that will keep the feet pounding throughout the song. The back beat of percussionist Marquinho Brasil, as well as some timely keyboard work, makes this one a favorite right off. “Dream Date” is an ironic follow-up after “wedding.” Part of the name is taken from fan submissions for the disc title. Chaquico sets the hook early on guitar and adds Kevin Paladini on sax for some good action back and forth in this “dreamy” number. “El Gato” (the cat) features Spanish nylon string guitar, acoustic steel string guitar as well as electric in the end. The tempo is back-up for this one, and is a show place for Chaquico’s playing. The Latin inspired horns and percussion are a nice touch. This will be a great one in concert.
“Bobby Sox” draws inspiration from the 50’s back when those sox were the rage. Add in a little Hammond B3 and you’ve got a walk down memory lane. Reitzel shows some bass here that adds a nice contrast to the organ. “Always With You’” is a funky little number that calls out the vocals of April Hendrix. It has the right mix of sax, guitar and vocals that makes for an enjoyable occasion. Chaquico uses both Spanish guitar as well as electric here to weave the story of the three. The disc’s title track, “Jazz Noon,” brings visions of an old steamy jazz hall around midnight. There’s the early guitar licks as well as the background of sax and crowd noise. The sax continues on for a while before being supplemented by haunting guitar and finally what sounds like both a stand-up bass and upright piano. You can see the smoke coming out of your speakers as the old jazz club closes for the evening.
“Dia Del Zorro” (day of the fox) is probably my favorite song here. There’s a good beat here that feels as though it’s continually climbing throughout the song. Chaquico uses all electric here for the first time and adds a nice touch of horns to add punch. The keyboards of Ozzie Ahiers are showcased and the two crescendo to lively ending. “Girls Night Out” continues the night theme as several instruments are used to express the different personalities of the girls. They play off each other as they go into the night. “Equinox” is a beautiful piano introduction to “Outlaw In The City.” This closer allows us to hear why so many have been fans of Craig’s for so long. It’s almost all guitar here, and we can almost visualize the sun coming up on the new day as this night comes to an end.