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Magic Beans

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Album Review

Pianist Benny Green delivers his first album of all-original material with 2013's Magic Beans. Joining Green here is the superb rhythm section of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. Green has long evinced the influence of such jazz giants as Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell, and Magic Beans is no exception, with cuts like "Flying Saucer" and "Paraphrase" bringing to mind the angular bop lines of those artists. Similarly, as directly stated in the song titles, "Harold Land," "Kenny Drew," and "Jackie McLean" are also clearly on Green's mind, with the aforementioned tracks truly conjuring their titles' inspirations. Elsewhere, Green reveals an introspective, atmospheric side with the lyrical ballads "Vanished" and "La Portuguesa." Ultimately, Magic Beans is an urbane and swinging mix of straight-ahead small-group jazz that showcases Green's inventive original compositions and lithe, tradition-steeped jazz chops.

Customer Reviews

Yay!

I have been a Benny Green fan for MANY years, and have all his CD's - but I am so happy to have picked up a copy of "Magic Beans" at his show at the Jazz Standard in NYC this weekend. The originals are really good, I love "Kenny Drew" and "La Portuguesa" the most, and the band is, OF COURSE, super swinging. All in all Benny sounds very relaxed and natural, definitely buy this CD! You'll love it.

Keeping Straight Ahead Vibrant & Relevant

If you like straight ahead jazz, you need this album. Whether he's paying homage to another great musician ("Kenny Drew," "Howard Land,") or crafting his own timeless piece that is sure to join the canon of classics ("Magic Beans," "La Portugesa," "Further Away"), his spirit and skill carry the listener on an unforgettable journey. Benny Green has been for years keeping the music of the masters alive & vibrant; with this album, he proves that his original compositions are as classic & relevant as the tunes he cut his chops on. Benny Green still holds his title as a Jazz Messenger, quite literally, as he brings the sounds of real jazz, in the old school style, to his audiences with a fresh, approachable voice. You'll be so glad to have this album in your collection; I know I am.

Biography

Born: April 4, 1963 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although not yet an innovator himself, Benny Green has managed to combine the styles of Bobby Timmons, Wynton Kelly, Gene Harris, and especially Oscar Peterson in his playing; his fast octave runs are often wondrous. He grew up in Berkeley and played as a teenager with Joe Henderson and Woody Shaw. After moving to New York, he spent important periods with Betty Carter (1983-1987) and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1987-1989), becoming quite well-known during the latter association. In addition to...
Full Bio
Magic Beans, Benny Green
View In iTunes
  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Feb 26, 2013

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