By Travis Rogers Jr.
And just when I thought Danny Green’s Trio had outdone themselves with 2015’s Altered Narratives, they release One Day It Will, their third album on OA2 Records. It is the very same brilliant trio of Danny Green on piano, Justin Grinnell on bass, and Julien Cantelm on drums. In fact, they have been together since 2010.
The continue what had started on Altered Narratives, the inclusion of strings. The string quartet features San Diego Symphony violinists Kate Hatmaker and Igor Pandurski, violist Travis Maril, and cellist Erica Erenyi. “I am so fortunate to have such highly talented string players on this album,” Danny remarks. “Beyond capturing every detail in the music, they brought the music to life with their beautiful interpretation.”
Exactly so. One thing about Danny: he can weave a tale las deftly as the saga-singers of ancient Iceland, full of rhythm, intonation, passion, and creativity. Grinnell and Cantelm are just as adept. This trio becomes more like a trinity than a trio. The beauty and passion of the music between them is seamless. The bass and drums are as melodic as the piano. And then there are those strings… wonderful.
All of the compositions are by Danny Green. He is a marvelous composer, a weaver of fantasies, and a splendid narrator of tales. I have never been disappointed by his composing or his performing.
Let me say it simply, I cannot get enough of Danny Green’s music.
The album opens with Time Lapse to Fall. It is introduced by a lively piano ostinato and is joined by that fine rhythm section before the strings join in. The trio flows so magnificently together and the string quartet is beautifully placed. The song closes with that same, sweet ostinato after the strings have faded away. Ok, yeah. I’m hooked.
As the Parrot Flies follows with its touch-and-go rhythms and flighty melodies. The opening pizzicato strings create a touchiness and the trio narrates the story from there. Cantelm is especially intriguing on drums. He plays with intonation and punctuation.
One Day It Will is a feeling of expectation but with a certain melancholy that may describe what is now or what is to come. Justin Grinnell delivers an excellent bass solo that contributes a drive to the piece and the theme of the piece. But it is the beautiful call and response of piano and strings that grabs the heart which is followed up with them playing in unison. It makes me think of long drives, talking with my beloved, when our hopes and plans for the future were somewhat shadowed by what we were going through at the moment. The beauty is there but the sadness is palpable.
The melancholy is left behind on View from the Sky. It is a fine follow-up to One Day It Will in its point-of-view above the shadows and intrigues of being earthbound. The destination is easier to see from above. It is optimistic and full of life. Danny is masterful at painting with such various hues. The strings become bouncy and bright, even as the piano and bass seek to rise above the shadows. In the end, the flight escapes the stall and soars.
Lemon Avenue is a sweet waltz and is carried wonderfully by Grinnell and Cantelm in support of the elegant piano. The string quartet is easy and smooth in this light and airy stroll. That continues into November Reveries with its charming reflections of piano against strings. It is a cool and delightful tune of sweet memories.
Those memories give way to somber contemplation in Sifting Through the Silence. Far from melancholic, there is still a self-searching that takes place. It is touching and delicate.
October Ballad casts an image of crisp air and falling leaves. This is a lovely piece, full of emotion and understanding, wisdom and even longing. The strings faintly tug at the heart and Grinnell’s bass solo portrays a certain thoughtfulness that leaves the listener pierced in spirit.
Snowy Day in Boston continues in unbroken rhythms and keys from October Ballad. It was described as sounding like the second movement of a suite in its fluid carry-over from the previous song. Danny again creates a Jazz tone-poem of extraordinary beauty that is exactingly carried off by the trio and strings.
The album closes with Down and Out, a swinging piece of blues. Grinnell and Cantelm are in a sweet groove behind Danny’s great piano work. The string weave in and out in punctuating swells. Beautiful stuff.
One Day It Will is a wonderfully cohesive album of adventures and reflections, full of longing and love. Danny Green is the imaginative story-teller that seizes his audience’s attention and we are compelled to give our complete and rapt attention.
Aristotle said that we come to grips with our emotions in our confronting them. One Day It Will is the confrontation of joy, melancholy, hope, and, certainly, love.
See review at The Jazz Owl