276

Benny Green: The Place To Be

By

Sign in to view read count
Benny Green: The Place To Be 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

Year Released: 1994 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Triangular III" CD/LP/Track Review Triangular III
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Metasediment Rock" CD/LP/Track Review Metasediment Rock
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!