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Album Review

A few days after an acclaimed performance at the 2001 IAJE Conference in New Orleans, pianist Benny Green was joined in the studio by his former bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Russell Malone to record this terrific CD. Five of the six trio tracks are originals by Green; they include the driving Stanley Turrentine-inspired "Pittsburgh Brethren," the funky "Captain Hook" (Green's nickname for McBride during their early trio days), the easygoing "Russelln'," in honor of Malone's considerable talent, and the soulful "Beg Your Parlan," in honor of the polio-inflicted but phenomenal pianist Horace Parlan, Green's fellow Pittsburgh native. The trio also swings mightily on a mellow version of Carl Perkins' "Grooveyard." Green's unaccompanied tracks include a fascinating striding version of Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly," a snappy take of Wayne Shorter's "Lester Left Town," and the more obscure "Learnin' the Blues," recorded by Oscar Peterson in the 1950s. This release is more than ample evidence of Green's continuous growth as a jazz pianist; it should help validate him as among the top players of his generation.


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...
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Naturally, Benny Green
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