[11 September 2011]
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.