By Ric Bang
Pianist/composer Danny Green was born and brought up in San Diego, California. He took piano lessons until he was 12; from that point, influenced by rock, he became self-taught. He delved into Latin sounds and began to write in that idiom, then earned an undergraduate degree in piano performance at UC San Diego … and went on to earn an M.A. from San Diego State University.
This is his fourth album. As with his prior releases, he utilizes a trio — bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm — as the primary format, supplementing with a string quartet on three of the 11 tracks: Antoine Silverman and Max Moston, violins; Chris Cardona, viola; and Anja Wood, cello. Green composed and arranged all of the charts.
The album menu is a combination of two genres. The trio’s mid- to up-tempo tunes are tied to the blues, while the string section appears on tracks that evoke 19th century European classical music. “Chatter from All Sides” and “The Merge” are 16-bar blues based, while “October Ballad” and “6 AM” are more balladic, the latter evoking a Latin-tinged mood. The tunes with the string section occupy the “middle” of the album, followed by additional bluesy pieces that conclude the session with a neat, groovy feel: “Benji’s Song,” “I Used to Hate the Blues,” “Friday at the Thursday Club” and “Serious Fun.”
These artists are clever; they know how to swing, and they work together impressively. (No fluffs or errors allowed!) Spending an evening with them would be a joy.
See review at Jazz Scan