Reviews / San Diego Reader

by Robert Bush

Green’s trio has been an active unit for more than five years, and their tight interplay on the pianist’s intricate original material is quite impressive. Opening with “End Of The Block,” a complex chart filled with rhythm unisons and winding ostinati, Grinnell dug into his 5-string electric bass for some appropriate fusion fireworks.

“A Thousand Ways Home,” followed–a sensual, Latin dance with definite Chick Corea overtones Green has a remarkable facility and a serious melodic gift that informs his solo improvisations with constant, effusive excitement. The trio was all over this arrangement–owning each daredevil moment with precision. Cantelm, especially, brought a rhythmic agitation that ratcheted the tune to a higher plane.

On “Tranquil Days,” Green steered the band into a decidedly ‘Trane-ish groove, with rumbling tremolos and arco bass over malleted drums, inviting Tordella (guesting), to spin dark labyrinths of sound over the stark harmonies of the pianist. Green built a melodic structure one brick at a time while Grinnell pedaled and Cantelm set waves of rim-shots and ride cymbal pings into motion.

Things got funky with “Soggy Shoes,” a Monk-ish blues with an insistent backbeat powering the squiggly melody and clanging harmonies. Tordella sent a torrent of squealing filigree into the rafters.

All of these guys can really play–and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend attending future performances of the Tordella and Green trios.

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