Saxophonist Chris Greene's twelfth recording is a solid hard bop affair, an appointed EP, that begins intensely and never gives up. The angular, "Blues for Dr. Fear" kicks things off, funky and sharp-edged. Greene plays as much Michael Brecker as Hank Mobley squeezing every bit of grease from this extralean music. "Thunder Snow" is mid-1960s Joe Henderson swing, Greene jousting with drummer Steve Corley. Things descend (or ascend, if you will) to the realm of John Coltrane's classic quartet. And was that a Dexter Gordon tone?
"Clean and Clear" is ruminative and thoughtful, smokey and humid. Greene's soprano saxophone, almost Middle Eastern over the impressionist chords fed him by pianist Damien Espinosa. Greene explores the piece at length, parlaying one creative idea into the next. Espinosa and bassist Marc Paine are afforded equal time, which they spend well with their own explorations. the lengthiest piece, "3 & 6" begins with the bass, pizzicato, strolling around a central figure not unlike "A Love Supreme" but much more balladic with an intense bottom of gospel. Greene closes with Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil," given an intense Latin-Islands vibe that closes the disc on a positive note. Keeper of the Flame, Greene is to be cherished.
Blues for Dr. Fear; Thunder Snow; Clean and Clear; Three & Six; The Crossover Appeal (Uno Mas); Speak No Evil.
Chris Greene: saxophones; Damian Espinosa: piano & keyboards; Marc Piane: basses; Steve Corley: drums & percussion;
Marqueal Jordan: alto saxophone (5).
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