Benny Green: Source (2011)
Pianist Benny Green has not been in the studio leading a recording date since his collaboration with Russell Malone, Bluebird (Telarc, 2004). Far from stagnating, Green has most recently been found providing support on recordings like Hilary Kole's You Are There (Justin Time, 2010), Kenny Burrell's Be Yourself (HighNote , 2010) and Anat Cohen's Clarinetworks: Live at the Village Vanguard
All this adds up to his attractiveness to Jazz Legacy Productions, a label that specializes in recording those artists without contract, or who are under-recorded. For this date, Green is joined by bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. Both Washingtons had previously recorded with Green, but not together. Recently, the trio performed together in Japan, Kenny Washington convincing Green to pursue the working chemistry of the trio. Source is the result of that working chemistry.
Green decided on a play list that included compositions from many of the finest bebop and hard bop pianists, among them Bud Powell ("Tempus Fugit"), Sonny Clark ("Blue Minor"), Horace Silver ("Opus de Funk") and Kenny Drew ("Cool Green"). Green also pays and plays homage to trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie ("I Waited for You") and Donald Byrd ("Little T"). Conspicuously absent from Green influences is former employer Ray Brown, with whom Green recorded in the middle-to-late 1990s. Brown's "Dejection Blues" would have gone far for Green.
Green's playing is exact and exemplary. He plays and solos precisely, as do the Washingtons, when called upon. This disc displays the art of the piano trio as it lies somewhere between the bandstand and the stage. It is not played so reverently to be consigned to a museum gathering dust but is played reverently enough to pay proper homage to those composers it represents.
Track Listing: Blue Minor; Way 'Cross Town; I Waited For You; Little T; Cool Green; Tempus Fugit; Park Avenue Petite; Chant; Born To Be Blue; Opus De Funk.
Personnel: Benny Green: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Kenny Washington: drums.