Chris Flory played his first gig at the age of thirteen and continued playing in rock and blues bands until his late teens. He took his first jazz guitar lessons from Tiny Grimes, in Harlem, when he was seventeen. He continued studying jazz with another New York teacher for most of that year, but did not start playing jazz professionally until he was twenty and living in Providence, RI. He first led his own group there and then joined tenor player Scott Hamilton's quartet. That group temporarily disbanded in the summer of 1976 when Scott and Chris made their separate ways to New York.
In New York in the late seventies, Chris was around an impressive array of older jazz masters and played gigs with Hank Jones, Illinois Jacquet, Jo Jones, Buddy Tate and others. Scott Hamilton began to have more frequent work for the Quartet (later Quintet), including recordings for Concord Jazz and many overseas tours. Chris was a part of Scott's group until the early nineties. Benny Goodman employed Chris for his sextet from 1978 until 1983.In the 1980's Chris also worked for or recorded with such departed jazz greats as Roy Eldridge, Ruby Braff, Maxine Sullivan, and Rosemary Clooney.
Chris released his first recording as leader in 1990. In this same period he began to tour Europe under his own name and as a sideman with other bandleaders. Chris has had a lengthy association with the stride pianist Judy Carmichael, begun in 1986. As a part of her group, he has made several recordings, done extensive concert tours of the U.S., and played for the U.S. State Department in China and Singapore.In recent years, Chris has played clubs and festivals with Judy in Europe and Brazil. He has also done numerous tours of the UK, both as a leader and a sideman, including playing twice at the Norwich Jazz Party.
To date, Flory has recorded on over 50 CDs. He's recorded 5 CDs of his own. The first two were done for the Concord Jazz label. His third CD, Word On the Street (recorded in 1996 for Double-Time Jazz), was a trio date with organist Mike LeDonne. Chris's fourth CD, Blues In My Heart (Stony Plain, 2003), has him paired with the great blues guitarist Duke Robillard, a player who Chris has known and admired for over twenty years. Arbors Records released Flory's most recent CD in June, 2008, entitled For You, with Mike LeDonne on organ, longtime colleague Chuck Riggs on drums, and a two-man horn section.
Chris Flory cites guitarists Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Bill Jennings and Wes Montgomery as his strongest influences. He also retains great respect for the blues and rock players that first inspired him- guitarists like Albert King, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix.