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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Narada Burton Greene: Live at Kerrytown House

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Does the world need yet another solo piano album? Well if they are all as enjoyable as this then there would be no doubt as to the answer. Live At Kerrytown House captures veteran pianist Narada Burton Greene in pristine clarity on a well-tuned instrument, for an intimate set from Ann Arbor in 2010. Even though Greene came of age with the likes of saxophonists Marion Brown, Gato Barbieri and Albert Ayler in the 1960s, this set belies his avant-garde credentials in favor of a series of lyrical and rhythmic interpretations which largely retain both tempo and tonal center. As ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene / Perry Robinson: Two Voices In The Desert

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Pianist Burton Greene and clarinetist Perry Robinson have been close friends for a very long time. During those years, they have bonded with a common musical purpose that stems from free expression to the gentle molding of a life perspective. Working together in Greene's groups--Klezmokem and Klez-Edge--the pair has become identifiable with an open and unfettered sound, imbued with Eastern European origins. Outside of these larger groups, Greene and Robinson come together to present a unique and lively duo conversation in Two Voices In the Desert.

The record's centerpiece is “The Desert Suite," containing two movements: one, a collaboration between ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Burton Greene and Perry Robinson at the Zeitgeist Gallery, Boston, MA

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Burton Greene and Perry Robinson Outpost 128 / Zeitgeist Gallery Boston, Massachusetts April 11, 2009

Pianist Burton Greene and clarinetist Perry Robinson have known each other for two generations' worth of years. They first played together at Greene's loft in New York in 1965 in a trio, which included Joel Friedman on cello. The two were together in Greene's quartet, Klez-Edge, a recording for Tzadik, and will play again soon in another recording called Two Voices in the Desert. As a preview of their new record, the pair convened for a special event at ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Burton Greene and Laurence Cook Duo at Studio 234

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Burton Greene and Laurence Cook Studio 234 Cambridge, MA April 26, 2008 It was chilly for late April in New England. It had not rained for a while. And in a salon-type event, a small room filled with a motley grouping of chairs awaited an audience for a performance of two musicians, who live an ocean apart, but whose camaraderie in improvised music brought them to sit ten feet away from each other in front of their instruments. Burton Greene played the piano and Laurence Cook played drums. It ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene: Bloom in the Commune

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In one of the interviews that flesh out this new reissue, pianist Burton Greene states that while he doesn't often listen to a record once it's done, his first date for ESP sounds quite fresh. Bloom in the Commune (originally released simply as Quartet but now retitled via the first track of the original B side) comes from a time when the clichïs associated with free jazz had yet to put a stranglehold on creativity and wide-eyed experimentation is in evidence on every track. Greene's compositions are terse, stark and aphoristic, in the manner if not the language ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene: Bloom in the Commune

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How cultural history impacts present practice is a part of a recurring cycle of reminders. Because those who have lived that history continually refresh it, its renewed view in coincidence with our exposure to it collapses time. And then we all become one, moving through now as we moved then but in, perhaps, different global circumstances. The questions posed by those who relate stories of the past remain the same; they address essential issues of artistic expression that can only be answered through the persistence of those who shape the culture.

Bernard Stollman resurrected the ESP label in 2007, having ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Burton Greene: Ins and Outs; Signs of the Times; Retrospective 1961-2005: Solo Piano (August 18, 2005)

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The era that ushered in free jazz was perhaps marked more greatly by hornmen than by the pianists. Chicago-born pianist Burton Greene, who came to prominence on three 1966 ESP recordings, seems to have been given a bit of short shrift in the history books, mostly because until the last decade or so a significant amount of his sizeable discography was either out of print or on woefully obscure European labels unavailable in the States. With this latest trio of releases, however, Greene's status is cemented as a continually-evolving composer and improviser, who has embraced freedom as a tool rather ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene: Retrospective 1961-2005: Solo Piano (August 18, 2005)

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Clarity of an all-encompassing vision can push a musician to say in music whatever is desired no matter what the response. This approach bolsters certainty and confidence which resultantly flows out of the instrument the musician plays. Both certainty and confidence exude from Burton Greene on Retrospective 1961-2005, Solo Piano. The recording is the third and only solo of a series by Greene on the CIMP label.

Chicagoan Greene was a founding member of the Jazz Composers Guild in the 1960s, which tried to lend credibility to the flock of vanguard musicians working at the time. He was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out

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Free jazz pioneer pianist Burton Greene and trumpeter Roy Campbell front this deeply satisfying CIMP release. The disc has an eclectic feel, striking a nearly ideal balance between free improvisation and more structured jazz, while also drawing on some notable world music influences. Venerable drummer Lou Grassi and bassist Adam Lane round out the quartet and provide some enjoyable solos as well as solid support for the leaders. The album is primarily Greene's project, as he provides most of the arrangements and two original compositions--as well as the liner notes--but Campbell's two original compositions and commanding solo presence amply justify ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out

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Free jazz pioneer pianist Burton Greene and trumpeter Roy Campbell front this deeply satisfying CIMP release. The disc has an eclectic feel, striking a nearly ideal balance between free improvisation and more structured jazz, while also drawing on some notable world music influences. Venerable drummer Lou Grassi and bassist Adam Lane round out the quartet and provide some enjoyable solos as well as solid support for the leaders. The album is primarily Greene's project, as he provides most of the arrangements and two original compositions--as well as the liner notes--but Campbell's two original compositions and commanding solo presence amply justify ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out

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Comebacks have a vexing tendency to fizzle and self-combust. The aged player who can work his or her way back from the brink of anonymity to the limelight is a fortunate one indeed. Witness altoist Jemeel Moondoc, who made strong recouping strides at the cusp of the new millennium, only to see the gleam of his relative celebrity flicker and wane once again. The story is still shaking out on Henry Grimes. With luck, the bassist's rejuvenated cachet will last for the long haul. Both of these men are in the vocation for something other than notoriety or fiscal reward. ...

INTERVIEWS

Pianist Burton Greene

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Pianist Burton Greene was born June 14, 1937 in Chicago. Following a brief stay in San Francisco he moved to New York in the early ‘60s and quickly became part of the nascent free jazz movement, playing with Alan Silva in the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble. He was a member of the Jazz Composers’ Guild, worked with Marion Brown, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Sam Rivers, and Patty Waters among others before moving to Europe in 1969. He currently resides on a houseboat in Amsterdam, the city where he has lived since 1970. Burton has recorded for no less than fifteen ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene: Live at Grasland

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You would not be faulted for raising an eyebrow at the appearance of a Burton Greene solo record. It is not without precedent, of course, for 1998’s Shades of Greene (Cadence Jazz) and It’s All One (Horo, 1975) set a worthy course. Nevertheless, Greene’s music has been fruitfully explored in ensemble recordings, from the classic open-communications music of the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble (featuring Alan Silva and Jon Winter) and his great quintet with master saxophonists Marion Brown and the criminally underrecorded Frank Smith, to a series of colorful duets with bassists Silva, Maarten Altena, and recently, Mark Dresser. Naturally, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burton Greene: Calistrophy

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The latest offering from pianist Burton Greene, Calistrophy, is a curious blend of klezmer, blues, swing, free form, Latin, Balkan and plain old straight ahead jazz. Greene, a founding member of the '60s cutting edge Free Form Improvisation Ensemble, was, with his group Klezmokum, also among the first to reacquaint contemporary jazz with klezmer. Joining Greene on this effort, and billed as the Klez-Thetics, are Hungarian reeds player Akos Laki and Klezmokum's core rhythm-masters drummer Roberto Haliffi and tubaist Larry Fishkind. While frantic freilachs and bulgars highlight many klez/jazz projects, Calistrophy leans more heavily on improvisational doinas ...



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