5

Benny Green: Live In Santa Cruz

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
We hope you've made the journey these past thirty plus years with pianist Benny Green. From hotshot young lion to keeper of the jazz flame he has consistently electrified audiences with his live performances. Live In Santa Cruz recorded at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center follows up on a recording he made as bassist Ray Brown's sideman twenty years ago. Green built a career, first as an apprentice to Betty Carter, then Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, then Brown. His career as a leader found early success with first Blue Note, then Telarc, and more recently, his revival with Sunnyside. As the market, or perhaps marketing departments, ebbed and flowed into then out of a taste for traditional jazz, Green's exposure has waxed and waned.

What hasn't diminished are his skills at the keyboard, and more importantly, his knack for entertaining audiences.

Playing Santa Cruz, side-by-side with Testifying: Live At The Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1992) confirms his status as a true jazz maestro. The pianist recorded these tracks on his annual performance at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and the audience ready, willing and primed for his appearance. The nine tracks are all originals, they range form the firecracker opener "Certainly" to the slow drag blues "Golden Flamingo," and an intricately simple ballad "Forgiveness."

Green's music works best in a trio format. Here he calls upon his musical twin, drummer Kenny Washington and bassist David Wong to favor the music. The crowd's energy is felt throughout. Green reintroduces "Phoebe's Samba," a composition written for his sister and recorded years ago on Lineage (Blue Note, 1990). The energy rises here and on his mayhem cyclone tribute to the hard bop pianist "Sonny Clark." Green's facility and hardwire swing carry the day. "Bish Bash" summons the spirit of Bud Powell at his bebop height, and the final track "Anna's Blues" has the crown on their feet. Green's music dares you to not clap, dance, or smile. Can't be done.

Track Listing: Certainly; Phoebe’s Samba; Catus Flower; Sonny Clark; Golden Flamingo; Tales Of Malone; Forgiveness; Bish Bash; Anna’s Blues.

Personnel: Benny Green: piano; David Wong: bass; Kenny Washington: drums.

Title: Live In Santa Cruz | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "In The Shadow Of A Cloud" CD/LP/Track Review In The Shadow Of A Cloud
by John Kelman
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Esse" CD/LP/Track Review Esse
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Chrome" CD/LP/Track Review Chrome
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.