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by Rick Anderson

I wish I had something stronger than Rick’s Pick with which to recommend this richly engaging and utterly brilliant album. The sophomore effort from pianist and composer Danny Green, it showcases a musical mind of rare sensitivity and rigor–not to mention an unusual creativity when it comes to arrangements. The tracks featuring mandolinist Eva Scow constitute the first really original use of that instrument in a jazz context since David Grisman’s work in the 1970s, and Green’s ability to shift smoothly and naturally from burbling bebop to hip-swaying bossa at the drop of a beat is very impressive. But the considerable technical achievements of this album are only the skeleton; what fleshes out the listening experience is Green’s musicality. From the snaky chromaticism of “Unwind” and “Flight of the Stumble Bee” to the heart-tugging melancholy of “Over Too Soon,” he pulls you in a hundred different directions and rewards you richly for following him every time. This is one of the best jazz albums I’ve heard in a decade.

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