By Robert Bush, San Diego Reader
Local piano wizard Danny Green dropped into the new Dizzy’s on Feb. 15, with a well-oiled group comprised of woodwind master Tripp Sprague, bassist Justin Grinnelland drummer Julen Cantelm for an evening devoted to the music of Chick Corea.
Corea’s music is notoriously difficult, filled with intricate melodies and stop/start rhythmic unisons. Green’s style, which is both lithe and athletic– is perfectly matched to the material.
Opening with “Love Castle,” Green’s right hand and Sprague’s sumptuous flute navigated the melodic contours with élan and Green set cascades of multi-note commentary amid the pulsing electric bass of Grinnell and whispered brushes of Cantelm.
“Menagerie,” began with Green plucking strings inside the piano while Sprague chirped and popped pads on the soprano over Grinnell’s throbbing upright pedal tone–setting up a lock tight unison on the serpentine melody. Sprague turned in a terrific solo, tearing though the changes with crowded scalar ideas.
The delicate 3/4 of “Waltz For Dave,” sailed along on the dripping half-notes of Grinnell and sensitive brushstrokes of Cantelm. Sprague brought things to a higher plane with his soaring flute and Grinnell snuck in a short solo with a nice mix of velocity and detail.
“Armando’s Rumba,” is the archetypal Corea tune, and this one burned from the first bar–Sprague burrowing into a Joe Farell-type spot, twisting bronzed arpeggios into peeling altissimo declaratives. Green’s remarkable facility rode upon the waves of ride cymbal pings of Cantelm who finally let loose with an explosive solo to take the tune out.
See review at SanDiegoReader.com