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More and more jazz CDs these days are being released with a track listing dominated by original works of the principal performer. Jesse Green has followed this path with his latest offering. The pianist augments his regular group with bassist Frank Hauch and drummer Bruce Cox, adding some of the most entertaining and technically dominating veteran jazz artists working in contemporary jazz these days. Guesting with Green is an assembly of extraordinary musicians who are responsible for a significant share of the new jazz ideas out on the table today. By having such artists join him on these sessions, Green takes a big step toward assuring that his material remains fresh and challenging to performers as well as being constantly accessible to the listener.
"Sylvan Treasure" is as good a track as any to demonstrate the approach Green takes to his musicianship. First off, it reveals his exceptional introspectional aptitude as pianist, composer and arranger. This is punctuated by the throbbing and pulsating, modern creative soprano sax of Chris Potter before moving between the rambunctious and relatively quiet drums of Bruce Cox. It's Potter's special soprano sax, giving off a uniquely personal sound, which guarantees that the full range of the improvisational opportunities are fully laid on display.
Sylvan Treasure , with its cornucopia filled with creative and original jazz, is as good as it gets when it comes to presenting the "new jazz" (translation: very melodic and considerably playable and listenable to the changing tastes of the younger and more daring members of today's jazz audience). Read more about Sylvan Treasure at www.chiaroscurojazz.com .
Finally there's the extra added attraction of a live performance of "I've Got You under My Skin", with Green and Jerry Harris doing vocal honors. The undeniable highlight of this track is the solo by living legend Phil Wood. This CD is required listening.
Track Listing: Extreme Sporting; Waltz for Corinne; Heslopia; I've Got You Under My Skin;
Sylvan Treasure; Golden Earrings; Bette; PorpDog
Personnel: Jesse Green - Piano/Arranger/Composer; Frank Hauch - Bass; Bruce Cox
-Drums; Patrick Dorian - Flugelhorn; David Liebman - Soprano Sax/Tenor
Sax/Flute; Jerry Harris - Vocals; Phil Woods - Alto Sax; Chris Potter - Tenor
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.