All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Jonathan Greenstein: Vol II

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
The title is plain as can be, the vaguely ECM-ish cover is pretty in its simplicity, and the playing follows suit—not plain as in bland or boring, but in an honestly straightforward manner with a minimum of fuss. Jonathan Greenstein ascribes an "anti-hero nature" to his voice on saxophone, which simply means that he's not a big, colorful, out-in-front presence. This is a player who takes after the John Coltrane of "Naima" rather than the Coltrane of "Impressions."

The short-but-sweet Vol II has the easygoing feel of drifting away from the party to have a nice quiet chat out on the back deck. Greenstein isn't opposed to a brief touch of swagger (such as in a piece named for fellow understated-saxophonist Dayna Stephens), but his expressiveness largely lies in inhabiting and conveying the evocative melodies themselves. His fellow players show the same class and taste; the rhythm players lightly bounce and swing while the piano and electric keys shade in the gaps with a soft wee-hours blue.

Each track creates an inviting and contemplative mood in the tidy framework it has got. The calming, vaguely Latin groove of "Retrograde" makes the highlight here, while the pieces around it are as placid as the last set-ending wind-down before the place closes for the night. It's a contemporary mode of cool jazz that doesn't bowl you over or even try to grab your attention. Greenstein is confidently assured enough to sit and wait, knowing there's a worthwhile experience to share with listeners willing to meet him halfway.

Track Listing: Once You're There (Take Your Time); HelpDaynaStephens.Org in Gm, part 1; Bittersweet Jelly (Why Is It So Easy to Love); Retrograde; People Like Them.

Personnel: Jonathan Greenstein: sax, keyboard; Michael King: piano, keyboard; Takeshi Ohbayashi: piano, keyboard; Joshua Crumbly: bass; Jonathan Pinson: drums .

Title: Vol II | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Vol II

Vol II

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records


Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Jubilation!" CD/LP/Track Review Jubilation!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 25, 2018
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Breathe" CD/LP/Track Review Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Brother Raymond" CD/LP/Track Review Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" CD/LP/Track Review Sorrows & Triumphs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2018
Read "Autumn Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Wind
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 3, 2017