By George Harris
Delivering the music from his latest album One Day It Will, pianist Danny Green showed that melding strings together with post-bop jazz can be more than simply adding wallpaper to an already finished room. Augmenting his long time team of Justin Grinnell/b and Julien Cantelm/dr with a trio violin (Luis Mascaro), viola (Jennifer Wu) and cello (Simon Huber), Green enticed the audience with original melodies that had the two trios working in a richly symbiotic fashion through the hourlong first set.
Flowing strings and intricate piano musings were coaxed along by bass and drums during the flowing “Time Lapse to Fall” as the two forces veered in and out of each other’s current like cars in a roundabout on the playful yet dramatic opener. The new album’s title had Green’s jazz team and modern strings weave the themes together like a Raphael tapestry, with Grinnell’s yearning solo veered in between piano and drums, volleying back and forth with the strings for guidance and framework rather than for simply accentuation.
Playful pizzicato’d strings provided fluttering feathers as they percolated over “As the Parrot Flies” as the string section wandered into bluesy hues to Cantelm’s drum solo. Brush strokes teamed with pastoral strings on the wanderlust of “November Reveries” making a rich balance between structured arrangements and sweeping spontaneity. Old world bowings introduced “Lemon Avenue” while the closing “Katabasis” featured the jazz trio cantering underneath the strings mysterious shadows, giving space for a cappricio of a solo by Mascaro before the team closed out in a rousing climax.
Green and company were successful in proving that strings in a jazz setting don’t have to be a gimmick or background, but a part of a rich and colorful piece of a musical mosaic. Hope there is more to come!
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