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Benny Green Trio: Source (2011)

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Benny Green Trio: Source How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Benny Green, now 48, is entering his middle years. Early on he was hailed as a budding master; today he has fully blossomed into one of the jazz world's finest pianists. Equally comfortable with a fast-paced piece and or a sensitive ballad, he is a go-to guy for sessions as back-up or leader. His last recordings were as a co-leader, in duo with guitarist Russell Malone
Russell Malone
Russell Malone
b.1963
guitar, electric
, hailed for the exquisite interplay of Jazz at The Bistro (2003) and Bluebird (2004), both on Telarc.

On Source, his first recording with a trio in 10 years, he has the peerless accompaniment of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington - Vocals
Kenny Washington - Vocals
Kenny Washington - Vocals
b.1957
vocalist
(not related but attached rhythmically at the hip). While in Japan, recently, Green and the Washingtons played trio dates, which emphasized their simpatico sound.

The song list honors compositions by pianists Green admires, including Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
, Sonny Clark
Sonny Clark
Sonny Clark
1931 - 1963
piano
, Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
1928 - 1958
piano
, Kenny Drew
Kenny Drew
Kenny Drew
1928 - 1993
piano
, Duke Pearson
Duke Pearson
Duke Pearson
b.1932
piano
and Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver
1928 - 2014
piano
. "These musicians are my heroes... the source," Green says. The selections display his many-sided talent.

For up-tempo sides, there are Perkins' boppish and jaunty "Way Cross Town"; the dazzling swirling piano runs of Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd
1932 - 2013
trumpet
's "Little T"; and the furious pace running through Powell's bop anthem, "Tempus Fugit." Then there is a soulful, groovy rendition of Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
's "I Waited For You," with subtle backing that brings to mind the interplay of pianist Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' trios. The majestic, reflective mood created for Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
's "Park Avenue Petite" further demonstrates Green's range.

Also of note is the astute decision to include Mel Torme
Mel Torme
Mel Torme
b.1925
vocalist
's moody ballad, "Born to Be Blue," with its palpably nourish, after-hours feel, as well as Green's complex arrangement of Drew's "Cool Green," which admirably shows off both Washingtons.

Kenny Washington's often furious, at times subtle drumming drives all the set, supported by Peter Washington's always inventive bass work. Source suggests that Green should not wait another 10 years before recording another trio session.


Track Listing: Blue Minor; Way 'Cross Town; I Waited For You; Liitle 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.

Record Label: Jazz Legacy Productions

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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