All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

276

Benny Green: The Place To Be

By
Published:
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 For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
[no cover]
Naturally
Sonar Kollektiv
2000
buy
[no cover]
These Are Soulful...
Sonar Kollektiv
1999
buy

Benny Green Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Sep26Mon Benny Green
Lied Center of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
8:00 pm
Sep27Tue Benny Green
Lied Center of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
8:00 pm
Oct8Sat Benny Green
Purchase College Performing Arts Center
Purchase, NY
8:00 pm
Nov18Fri Benny Green
Riverhouse Jazz Series
, OR
8:00 pm
Nov19Sat Benny Green
Riverhouse Jazz Series
, OR
8:00 pm

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.