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Benny Green

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(Jazz Legacy Productions; US: 12 Apr 2011)

Piano Jazz

Jazz pianist Benny Green employs his long time protégés, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington to swing through a collection of material by jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie (“I Waited for You”), Bud Powell (“Tempus Fugit”), Horace Silver (“Opus De Funk”) and others. Green’s fingers never stop moving, unless to take an unexpected break and let the tempo build behind him. The effect is soulful and somewhat hypnotic. It gives the music a physicality that muscles over the listener’s consciousness, like one is hearing voices through one’s ears but that comes from somewhere deep inside the self. The two blues-based numbers (Sonny Clark’s “Blue Minor” and Mel Torme’s “Born to Be Blue” capture just the right amount of sentimentality to sound impassioned without being schmaltzy. They can play hot or cool, but there’s never anything cold about the Green trio’s approach. The human element takes front and center on the recording. Nowhere is this trio than on Benny Golson’s impressionistic “Park Avenue Petite” that aurally recreates a grey street city scene on a cold and rainy day.

Rating:

Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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Benny Green on Piano
Benny Green on Piano
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26 Feb 2013
Benny Green’s narrative-driven compositions and mesmerizing improvisations easily draw the listener in.
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