Chris Greene Quartet: Merge (2010)
Merge is largely a contemporary jazz affair with a bright, shining vein of the '70s passing through it from Damian Espinosa's electric piano. This is not a total throwback to the Gene Harriselectric Three Sounds, just a nice accent to some modern thoughts conveyed by Greene's potent reeds playing. A hot-off-the-presses jazz cover of the Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get It Started" further boasts Greene's contemporary tastes. The original composition "Coffee 'n' Scotch" begins with a loping Jimmy Garrison bass figure. By the time Greene and the rest of the band enter, "Coffee 'n' Scotch" becomes Greene's "Acknowledgement."
Merge is sonically intriguing. It sounds as if the session was recorded live in a studio with a cooler, closer midrange than Rudy Van Gelder's famous Engelwood Cliffs digs. All of Greene's tenor harshness and drummer Tyrone Blair's snare and cymbal shimmer are captured as if in a bright light, which translates into a retro-engineered sound with the "brightness" turned up. The results only add to the listenability of this fine disc.
Track Listing: Good Riddance; You'll Thank Me Later; M. Tati; L.F.E.I. (Let's Get it Started); Coffee 'n' Scotch; Lotus Blossom; Out of Nowhere; In Confidence; Borderline.
Personnel: Chris Greene: saxophones; Damian Espinosa: piano, keyboards; Marc Piane: double-bass; Tyrone Blair: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Single Malt Recordings