BENNY GREEN, MAGIC BEANS

BG with Art Blakey photo by Arthur Elgort / BG solo photo by Ron Hudson

Benny Green was the pianist in 1980’s bands led by Art Blakey, Betty Carter and Ray Brown, as well as a prolific sideman before establishing his own dazzling solo career on Blue Note Records (doubtless a dream-come-true for this champion of the Blue Note sound.) For his 13th solo recording, Magic Beans (Sunnyside Records), Green calls on the dynamic bassist Peter Washington and urbane drummer Kenny Washington, best known for their peerless work as members of pianist Bill Charlap’s trio. Green concocts a tasty program of familiar-sounding post-bop workouts, retaining both the hard swinging energy of his musical heroes and illustrates why he is indeed a Jazz Messenger.

Imagine a student who absorbs all the best quintet, quartet and trio dates produced by Blue Note, learning the pianist’s solos and filtering that music and playing style through your own imagination. That’s what Green sounds like he’s doing here with tracks named “Kenny Drew,” “Jackie McLean” and “Harold Land.” To Green's credit, his tunes work are more reverential in spirit than derivative. Latin vamps, the bouncing and pop of swing, swift rhythmic interplay and sensual harmonics alá Horace Silver (“La Portuguesa”) dance throughout the album. Written over the course of an afternoon, the tunes showcase the best qualities of Benny Green -- a master craftsman and, despite his love affair for a legendary old school sound, a true original, too. (10 tracks; 45 minutes)

From Benny’s blog via his website, a beautiful statement: i have always wanted to belong and be included and be a part of The Music, black-american music, Jazz. anyone who has ever gotten to know me or been in my home, knows exactly what i’m about. i love classic Blue Note quintet records, and the sound and feeling of a trumpet-saxophone front line like Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley or Kenny Dorham and Jackie McLean, is what i love, and it inspires the music i write. i am a Jazz Messenger, my life is dedicated to Jazz.

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JAZZ IN SPACE: BENNY GREEN, MAGIC BEANS

Monday, April 1, 2013

BENNY GREEN, MAGIC BEANS

BG with Art Blakey photo by Arthur Elgort / BG solo photo by Ron Hudson

Benny Green was the pianist in 1980’s bands led by Art Blakey, Betty Carter and Ray Brown, as well as a prolific sideman before establishing his own dazzling solo career on Blue Note Records (doubtless a dream-come-true for this champion of the Blue Note sound.) For his 13th solo recording, Magic Beans (Sunnyside Records), Green calls on the dynamic bassist Peter Washington and urbane drummer Kenny Washington, best known for their peerless work as members of pianist Bill Charlap’s trio. Green concocts a tasty program of familiar-sounding post-bop workouts, retaining both the hard swinging energy of his musical heroes and illustrates why he is indeed a Jazz Messenger.

Imagine a student who absorbs all the best quintet, quartet and trio dates produced by Blue Note, learning the pianist’s solos and filtering that music and playing style through your own imagination. That’s what Green sounds like he’s doing here with tracks named “Kenny Drew,” “Jackie McLean” and “Harold Land.” To Green's credit, his tunes work are more reverential in spirit than derivative. Latin vamps, the bouncing and pop of swing, swift rhythmic interplay and sensual harmonics alá Horace Silver (“La Portuguesa”) dance throughout the album. Written over the course of an afternoon, the tunes showcase the best qualities of Benny Green -- a master craftsman and, despite his love affair for a legendary old school sound, a true original, too. (10 tracks; 45 minutes)

From Benny’s blog via his website, a beautiful statement: i have always wanted to belong and be included and be a part of The Music, black-american music, Jazz. anyone who has ever gotten to know me or been in my home, knows exactly what i’m about. i love classic Blue Note quintet records, and the sound and feeling of a trumpet-saxophone front line like Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley or Kenny Dorham and Jackie McLean, is what i love, and it inspires the music i write. i am a Jazz Messenger, my life is dedicated to Jazz.

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