Reviews / Let The Show Begin

By Chuck Graham

The intuitive conviction among composers that classical music and jazz have more in common than rock ‘n’ roll and jazz just won’t go away.

Clearly stating these artistic objectives right up front, San Diego pianist/composer Danny Green stirs a very big and somewhat classically structured pot in his first full album dedicated to recording his trio with strings.

In this case the additional musicians are a string quartet of players from the San Diego Symphony – violins Kate Hatmaker and Igor Pandurski, viola Travis Maril and cello Erica Erenyl.

Members of Green’s trio are Justin Grinnell, bass, and Julien Cantelm, drums, soaking up the lush sounds of their orchestral companions like candy coated vitamins for their own creativity.

Just being an active listener to the Danny Green Trio Plus Strings’ performance of “One Day It Will” does take a little different strategy. Rather than listening for extra sparkling piano licks or rhythms with a double-deep pulse, try listening to the whole sound all at once. Hear the waves of  conviction as they develop emotional swells growing  until they come toppling over in a rush of ecstasy.

Kind of like how you would listen to a symphony orchestra.

Green’s early inspiration was the 1966 Verve release “Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra.” Also influential is Herbie Hancock’s1998 Verve project “Gershwin’s World,” particularly the piano work on Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G major.”

“I was intrigued by the possibilities of integrating classical harmony and form into the jazz context,” Green explained in a press release.

“The process for arranging each song began with my thinking about where the strings should take the lead melody, where they should play background lines or harmonies – or what I could do to make the strings essential to the arrangement.”

“One Day It Will” contains 10 original tracks, each one a fully developed composition. All are drawn from more abstract situations, such as a response to the weather a la George Winston.

Some are faster, with a quicker pulse rather than a driving beat. Others feel languid, sometimes sad, but ever thoughtful. Plan on listening attentively to “One Day It Will” many times over. Because the differences can be subtle, every listening will reveal new musical moments with additional nuance.

See Review at Let The Show Begin

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