All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Rodney Green Quartet: Live At Jazzhus Montmartre

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
At the age of three, at the church in Camden, New Jersey, where his father was pastor, Rodney Green saw a drum kit for the first time. He stared at it, fascinated; it was so big and shiny. He thought to himself, "OK, let's play some drums."

He wasn't supposed to play jazz, it was the devil's music. But he just couldn't help himself. Now Green says, "In every memory I have, I play the drums." At the age of 14 he started taking lessons and his first idol was Tony Williams "because he was only 17 when he started playing with Miles Davis. I told myself: 'He did it. I can do it too!'"

Green still relies on this "can do" spirit. Putting together a band for this 2016 gig at the legendary Copenhagen jazz club, Jazzhus Montmartre, he started from the premise "Real jazz musicians must be able to meet and play without discussions or long rehearsals and just let their instruments speak."

He recruited Baltimore vibraphonist Warren Wolf, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, in Boston, then arranged to borrow a vibraphone from Per Jensen, of the Royal Danish Orchestra, for the gig in Copenhagen. The line-up was completed with Danish pianist Jacob Christoffersen and American bassist David Wong. That was it—no rehearsals, just three nights of fine, hard swinging jazz at Montmartre, which those who were present still rave about.

Christian Brorsen, the club's former musical director, who produced this album of the event, says: "It all looks so simple when Green's sitting there behind the drum set. There's no showing off, but it always sounds incredibly good. Rodney's got it all: good taste, a dazzling technique and a formidable beat. The audience couldn't get enough."

The session kicks off with "Bud Powell," Chick Corea's tribute to one of the bebop greats. This is followed by another Corea number, "Humpty Dumpty," from his 1978 Akoustic Band album based on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. It's high octane stuff —no room for mistakes.

Though there's a bad one from the record's producers in wrongly accrediting Johnny Mandel's "Emily" to Bill Evans. The tune -used as the title song of the 1964 movie, The Americanization Of Emily—was a great favourite of Evans but he never did of course actually make it his own!

Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't" acts as a prelude to a magnificent 13 minute version of Monk's classic ballad "Round Midnight," which—to judge from the applause, very nearly brought the jazzhus down. Wolf and Christoffersen fuse beautifully on this one, with the leader keeping a low profile, though always there when he's needed. The playing of what would seem to be a final statement of the theme is greeted with awed silence by the audience. But then Wolf uses some nifty improvised runs to keep things going before returning to the real final statement.

This is followed by a second tribute to Bud Powell, Miles Davis's "Budo," on which Christoffersen shines. With that, a great session comes to a close with a wildly swinging work-out of Cole Porter's "Just One Of Those Things" that includes, nearing close of play, a tasteful solo by Green. And with that "can do" is "done."

Track Listing: Bud Powell; Humpty Dumpty; Emily; Well You Needn’t; Round Midnight; Budo; Just One Of Those Things.

Personnel: Warren Wolf: vibraphone; Jacob Christoffersen: piano; David Wong: bass; Rodney Green: drums.

Title: Live At Jazzhus Montmartre | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Storyville Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Lucus" CD/LP/Track Review Lucus
by Don Phipps
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Kavuma" CD/LP/Track Review Kavuma
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "Playmates" CD/LP/Track Review Playmates
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 14, 2018