245

Benny Green: Naturally

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Pity Benny Green. Born 30 years too late, his fantastic piano technique isn’t the stuff of heated debates. The heir to Oscar Peterson’s legacy, Green’s trio work of the 1990s never made one choose sides, like Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, and Dave Brubeck fans once did. After a successful run of Blue Note records, Green like Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones before him settled into the role of sideman. He recorded over a half dozen dates with bassist Ray Brown.

Like These Are Soulful Days, his swan song for Blue Note, this introduction to Telarc records features the same lineup of piano/guitar/bass and the same musicians. Unlike the Blue Note date, where the trio covers classic BN compositions, the majority here are Benny Green originals. I’ve always been a fan of Green’s composing, from his early “Phoebe’s Samba” to his blues influenced record Testifying. His originality, strangely enough, has played second fiddle to his two-handed attack. Such is the fate of a post-bop pianist.

Like Soulful Days the drummer-less trio spreads the soloing around in a relaxed hour of music. It’s almost a clinic of technique times three. Christian McBride is just now filling the hype that surrounded the young bassist ten years ago. His playing, although not understated, is courteous and respectful (maybe filling the shoes of Ray Brown). Russell Malone also has become an accent player as the feature on most of Diana Krall’s recent hit recordings.

Like the other talent rich pianist Marcus Roberts, Green’s playing looks backwards in history for inspiration. Besides Peterson, his playing murmurs Red Garland, Art Tatum, and Fats Waller. Beautifully recorded, Green’s piano, always a crowd favorite live, is preserved for future debates of piano favorites.

Track List:Love You Madly; Naturally; Pittsburgh Brethren; Captain Hook; Grooveyard; Learnin’ The Blues; Russelin; Beg Your Parlan; Lester Left Town.

Personnel: Benny Green

| Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "The Beauty of Disaster" CD/LP/Track Review The Beauty of Disaster
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "The LA EP" CD/LP/Track Review The LA EP
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!