A gem! San Diego based pianist Green is a new name to me even though his debut album With You in Mind won the San Diego Music Awards for Best Jazz Album. I haven’t heard that album but if it’s half as good as this one it must have walked off with the prize 64 bars ahead of the rest!
Green is a swingy pianist with strong evidence of his classical background seeping through – at times I could detect a whiff of Jacques Loussier. Nothing wrong with that except Green doesn’t rely on JSB for his material – he writes his own.
Yes originals – often the bane of my life – but these are good catchy, easy to pick up on themes. Track 10 – Back To Work could, with practice, become a repertoire item for any band. Sprague plays the theme on soprano over a Bossa rhythm before taking off on a solo that is verging on perfection – you know what I mean you get the feeling that not one note could be changed. Green’s piano solo takes it along at the same high level before going – back to work!
Brazilian vocalist Villela sings Quintal da Solidao with that puckish delivery inherent in so many Brazilian singers. The song could have been written by Jobim but I defy anyone to sing it better than Villela.
The guitarists all have their moments in the sun but the surprise package is Eva Scow. I’ve never thought highly of mandolins in a jazz setting but Eva knows her way around the instrument and on her four tracks she demonstrates that, in the right hands, the mandolin has a place in jazz.
Love this one but…like just about every CD you get these days – dark text on a slightly darker background makes the notes impossible to read. Still the music makes up for it!
See review at Bebop Spoken Here