If we were talking baseball, pianist, vocalist, and composer Kelly Green
would be highly touted as a three tool player. And she deserves to be. From every angle she hears breaks and stops, harmonic and melodic whoops, swoops and vocal dips and dives that the rest of us maybe don't until the artist makes them as present and immediate as breathing.
Stepping away from the larger sound that powered 2017's critically accepted, self produced debut, for the bracingly crisp, brisk sound of an organic piano trio, Green and her joined-at-the-hip bassist Alex Tremblay
and swing time drummer Evan Hyde
run young and free on Volume One
. With refreshing flair/flare, the trio, inspired by the lady's devilish muse, sparks new life into some real old chestnuts. Exhibit A, Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer's 1942 ballad "I'm Old Fashioned" becomes a 9 minute, muscular bop vamp with a pop nuanced, conversational vocal approach that's hard not to replay over and over again. Harry Warren and Mack Gordon's "I Wish I Knew" may also harken from the '40's but the John Coltrane
inspired construction turns your head around. Tremblay, as he does throughout, excels here, answering Green's moves with an expressive reliability.
The intriguing "Daily Lies," the lone Green original, takes aim at our twitter-in-chief with a medium tempo, McCoy Tyner
-like major to minor movement. The Joni Mitchell
/ Charles Mingus
scat crazy "The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines" is an absolutely engaging romp, as Green playfully vocalizes over a finger snapping accompaniment from Hyde and Tremblay. The trio then invites one and all to the high kicking, ingenious set closing medley of Charlie Parker
's "Marmaduke" and Fats Waller
's "Honeysuckle Rose" A sure-fire fun way to exit 2018.
I'm Old Fashioned; I Wish I Knew; Daily Lies; My Ideal; The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines; I Understand;
Kelly Green: piano. vocals; Alex Tremblay: bass; Evan Hyde: drums.