RINGER OF THE WEEK
Pianists seem to always dream about doing a trio album with strings. Well, Danny Green makes a dream come true, as he wisely avoids the use of the string quartet for "support," but makes the team of Kaet Hatmaker/v, Igor Pandurski/v, Travis Maril/vi and Erica Erenyi/cel an intrinsic part of the collaboration.
Green's got a gorgeously swinging and melodic touch, and uses his trio of Justin Grinnell/b and Julien Cantelm with another clever decision of taking his own compositions to deliver the goods. Green's fingers dance with joy with the bowing strings adding dramatic textures on pieces like "Time Lapse to Fall" whereas on "As the Parrot Flies" the pizzicato'd Latin Rhythm makes for a rich table dance. Green isn't above sharing the solo space either, as he gives room for some improvisations that are as seamlessly intertwined with the melody as a Raphael tapestry on the title track.
The strings are able to create shadows for Green's nocturnes "October Ballad" and "Snowy Day in Boston" while able to also strut like a peacock on the bouncy "Down and Out." Moments of genteel parlor moods have the strings sigh on "Lemon Avenue" while Grinnell and Cantelm do a yeoman's work of pulsating the music forward but not letting anyone trip over themselves as on "November Reveries." If Green can pull off bringing the entire ensemble for a tour, count me in!
He's touring right now with this band, and will be at the Blue Whale the 27th. Should be a treat.