All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

276

Benny Green: The Place To Be

By

Sign in to view read count
Benny Green is one of the most gifted jazz pianists around, and The Place To Be shows off his abilities in a variety of settings. The album starts off with a big band arrangement of “Nice Pants” which at times sounds like it’s based on the changes of “Critic’s Choice,” a tune that was a staple of the Buddy Rich book from the 1960s. It has a time medium tempo swing to it and features an excellent bass solo by Christian McBride in addition to Green’s omnipresent powerhouse piano. The big band groove is also found in “I Want to Talk About You,” partly based upon “How High the Moon,” and “I Felt That,” the latter tune with a Thelonious Monk-inspired melody.



Green’s trio work is outstanding and nicely varied. “Playmate” is a real tour de force and features blazingly fast single-line and octave runs a la Oscar Peterson. In the middle of the song there is a lot of nice stride piano. Green and company change pace with “Pensativa,” a pleasant bossa nova that is indebted to Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave” and also to “You Came Along from Out of Nowhere.” “One of Another Kind” is an interesting composition and almost sounds like an up-tempo version of Miles Davis’ “So What?”



Green displays a similar eclecticism with his solo piano pieces. They range from a swinging version of Steve Allen's “Gravy Waltz” to the highly contrapuntal “The Place To Be” to a very sensitive and understated performance of the beautiful ballad “The Folks Who Live on the Hill.” The last song is one of the most poignant compositions in the Great American Songbook, yet it is not performed that often, the most recording being Diana Krall’s.



Benny Green is a consummate jazz pianist. He’s mastered all the past styles from Kansas City stride to Bill Evans to bebop and beyond and he’s taking the music to heights unknown. The Place To Be is just that, the place where everyone who appreciates great jazz will want to be.


Track Listing: Nice Pants; Playmate; I Want to Talk About You; Place to Be; I Felt That; Pensativa; One of Another Kind; Which Came First?; Noreen's Nocturne; Concertina; Gravy Waltz; Folks Who Live on the Hill

Personnel: Benny Green, piano; Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone; Christian McBride, bass; Byron Stripling, trumpet; Gary Smulyan, baritone sax; John Clark, flugelhorn; Kenny Washington, drums; Herb Besson, tuba; Jerry Dodgion, flute, alto sax

Title: The Place To Be | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
Read more articles
Happiness!

Happiness!

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
Live in Santa Cruz

Live in Santa Cruz

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
Live In Santa Cruz

Live In Santa Cruz

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
Source

Source

Jazz Legacy Productions
2011

buy
Jazz At The Bistro

Jazz At The Bistro

Telarc Records
2003

buy
The Place To Be

The Place To Be

Blue Note Records
2002

buy

Related Articles

Read Home Boy, Sister Out CD/LP/Track Review
Home Boy, Sister Out
by Chris May
Published: July 22, 2018
Read Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2018
Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Heart Knows" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Naacal" CD/LP/Track Review Naacal
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Music IS" CD/LP/Track Review Music IS
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 29, 2018
Read "Atwood Suites" CD/LP/Track Review Atwood Suites
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2018
Read "Shadow Work" CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017