By: Edward Blanco
Danny Green is a pianist and composer from San Diego who makes an impressive debut with this first album blending Brazilian and Latin jazz elements with a taste of mainstream and classical nuances to forge one heck of a recording. Except for Danilo Perez’s “Suite For The Americas,” a tune containing strong Latin influences, Green contributes ten varied originals running the gamut in style from the Brazilian flavor of “Baio Pra Voce” and “Doctor Pasta,” to the beautiful mainstream title track and the classical finale “Lullaby for A Poet.”
He attributes his passion for Brazilian music to the time spent at California’s Brazil Camp and this passion is well played out here where Green lays down hot tones playing the piano, Fender Rhodes and the Melodica. Also performing on this album is Justin Grinnell (bass), Dylan Savage (drums), Tripp Sprague (soprano sax) and Allan Phillips on percussions.
The music starts off with three Brazilian colored tunes but none match the lively and bouncy meter of “Jellyfish” influenced by the music of Jovino Santos-Neto. The following piece “Gigi” is a showcase number for Green where he dominates the melody only to step aside for a tasteful solo from bassist Grinnell. Green performs on the Melodica on the samba-shaded “Panic Nap” and shares the spot light with saxophonist Sprague on the last Brazilian influenced piece on the album, “The Last Minute.”
While the majority of the music falls within the Brazilian/Latin camps, the best composition on the album has to be the title track written by Green as a dedication to his girlfriend, now fiancé. “With You In Mind” is a gorgeous soft love ballad where Green shines on the keys laying down excellent piano lines. The other tender mainstream jazz number on the disc is the cushy ballad piece “Off The Streets.”
With You In Mind is more than well worth the spin, it is indeed a brilliant musical statement from pianist Danny Green, one of the new young lions of jazz that I’m sure we will be hearing more of in the future. For the present however, you may want to give this new album a listen, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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