San Diego-based pianist Danny Green's 2012 CD release, A Thousand Ways Home (Tapestry Records) was too much of a good thing. A lot of fine music, but the album as a whole was over the edge on the shuffle in-and-out guest artistic slots for those who prefer a more focused and cohesive recording.
After the Calm, Green's debut on OA2 Records doesn't have that problem. It is a straight through trio outing that showcases the pianist's particular skills in playing and songwriting on an all original set.
If you're looking for a "piano trio school" to pigeonhole Green into, Bud Powell might be the closest fit. With a crisply percussive approach, Green and his trio serve up an ebullient and positive vibe on the disc's opener, "End of the Block," and "Thirty Spring Rolls" pushes the momentum another notch. It's music, like Powell's, that has a bounce—an interactive trio making joyful, mood elevating sounds.
Green and the trio change schools, from Powell to Bill Evans, with the dark and brooding "In a Dreamy State," a beautiful ballad. "Two Ways About It" moves the sound back to brighter territory, with a playful flash and sparkle, with bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm shifting in and out of the groove, and Green slipping from an effervescent lead to spare comping and pensive reveries.
Danny Green: a writer of gorgeous and engaging tunes, and a first rate pianist leading a distinctively interactive trio on the superb After the Calm.