Pianist Tim Green new recording, Jeannie's Song, was recently featured in my Nights at the Turntable article, Origin Arts: The Tsunami from Seattle . Mr. Green is one of a growing number of young jazz musicians who are shaping jazz for the 21st century. His approach to jazz is through his bright and intelligent compositions, as well as his careful analyses of the standards literature. Catching Yourself Gracefully, the prelude to Jeannie's Song, offers illustrations of these talents in detail. Green's Latin touch is demonstrated on his own "Coyote Samba" and Cedar Walton's "Bolivia," where rhythm and percussion (both pianistic and trap-set) rule the pieces.
Green's ballad playing flows from the same well as that of Bill Evans, Fred Hersch, Lynne Arriale, and Alan Broadbent. The title piece is an expansive observation of tone and color. It compares perfectly with Green's tasteful treatment of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale," which is taken at a lazy, ironic pace. "Green Eggs & Funk" change the landscape into something a little more abstractly greasy, perhaps anticipating exciting disc closer, Errol Dixon's "Back at the Chicken Shack." Good stuff...all good stuff.
Track Listing: 1. Coyote Samba; 2. Bolivia; 3. Catching Yourself Gracefully; 4. Love For Sale; 5.
TV Dinner; 6. Don't You Know I Care?; 7. Green Eggs & Funk; 8. Wrong Again; 9.
Back At The Chicken Shack.
Personnel: Tim Green: Piano; Jim Cox: Bass; Phil Gratteau: Drums.
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition. He was on the band bus the next day as Dorsey's alto sax and clarinet player, and never looked back. He played with great bandleaders such as Freddie Martin, Tex Beneke and Ray McKinley, some before he was out of his teens (they had to lie about his age to get him into nightclubs). Many older musicians have told me he was the greatest alto sax player they ever worked with. He was equally great on clarinet and was clarinetist and harmony singer for cocktail jazz pioneers, the Ernie Felice Quartet.
He eventually left the road and settled down, and that's when I came in. By that time, he was, by day, vocal group session leader/player/arranger for classic jingles and commercial music produced in Dallas. At night, he played in society bands, jazz combos and elegant showrooms. Tuesdays were slow in the showrooms, so band members' families got in free, and my mom took me to see him backing such legends as Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Steve and Eydie, and a very old Ella Fitzgerald. Between that, hearing his record collection, growing up around the legendary musicians and singers who were like aunts and uncles to me, and just listening to him practice around the house, filling the neighborhood with incredible jazz sax riffs, I couldn't help becoming that weird kid who was listening to Peggy Lee, Ella and Manhattan Transfer when my classmates were listening to rock, country and soul.
Even though he died before I ever sang professionally, he remains my inspiration and all my CDs are dedicated to him. I like to think that he'd like my music, since it's built on the foundation he handed down to me.