Reviews / KUCI

By Hobart Taylor

In contrast to the dry and austere release described above, but no less engaging and fulfilling is the lush work of San Diego composer and pianist Danny Green. Green is a melodist, one of those folks who creates tunes that are at once completely new and yet deeply and intimately familiar. Musicians like that astound me. It’s as if someone took a rock and some leaves and and pond water mixed them together and came up with coq au vin. It would be easy to say that the addition of a string quartet makes the sound “semi-classical”, but I believe in reality the compositions themselves respect the western musical canon deeply from Bach to Chopin and Liszt, and while the excellent rhythm section, bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm, swing and the string quartet underscores the classicism, it is Green’s piano that bridges genres with a fresh take on the vibrancy and exuberance of a good song well played. Like Bernstein and Sondheim before him, Green is working to codify formally the best in the popular melodic traditions using equal parts of two tremendous genres.

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