By George Harris
Pianists seem to always dream about doing a trio album with strings. Well, Danny Green makes a dream come true, as he wisely avoids the use of the string quartet for “support,” but makes the team of Kate Hatmaker/v, Igor Pandurski/v, Travis Maril/vi and Erica Erenyi/cel an intrinsic part of the collaboration.
Green’s got a gorgeously swinging and melodic touch, and uses his trio of Justin Grinnell/b and Julien Cantelm with another clever decision of taking his own compositions to deliver the goods. Green’s fingers dance with joy with the bowing strings add dramatic textures on a pieces like “ Time Lapse to Fall” whereas on “As the parrot Flies” the pizzicato’d Latin Rhythm makes for a rich table dance. Green isn’t above sharing the solo space either, as he gives room for some improvisations that are as seamlessly intertwined with the melody as a Raphael tapestry as on the title track.
The strings are able to create shadows for Green’s nocturnes “October Ballad” and “Snowy Day in Boston” while able to also strut like a peacock on the bouncy “Down and Out.” Moments of genteel parlor moods have the strings sigh on “Lemon Avenue” while Grinnell and Cantelm do a yeoman’s work of pulsating the music forward but not letting anyone trip over themselves as on “November Reveries.” If Green can pull off bringing the entire ensemble for a tour, count me in!
He’s touring right now with this band, and will be at the Blue Whale the 27th. Should be a treat.
See review at Jazz Weekly