Steve Greenlee

Steve’s Contributions

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10/02/12    Albums

Shimmy
Billy Martin/Wil Blades

Listening to Shimmy , you realize just how responsible Billy Martin is for the Medeski Martin & Wood sound. Thanks to the drummer’s shuffling rhythms, Shimmy sounds a lot like an MMW record, but in fact Martin has found a new keyboardist to jam with, Wil...

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09/08/12    Albums

Sweet Chicago Suite
Ray Anderson Pocket brass Band

Sweet Chicago Suite has been a long time coming. Just the second album from trombonist Ray Anderson’s Pocket Brass Band, it’s the followup to 1999’s Where Home Is . Odder still, the six-part suite that constitutes this album’s core was composed back in 2001...

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07/29/12    Albums

The Gowanus Sessions
Thollem/Parker/Cline

It starts with a fiercely struck guitar chord, a rumble of keys and a plucked bass note. For the next 41 minutes, pianist Thollem McDonas, bassist William Parker and electric guitarist Nels Cline play seemingly indiscriminately, creating unmusical layers...

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06/29/12    Albums

Dirty & Beautiful : Volume 2
Gary Husband

We had a feeling this was coming, what with Gary Husband calling his previous album Dirty & Beautiful: Volume 1 and all. The multi-instrumentalist has attracted a wide range of guests to help him execute his vision, which lives unabashedly in the land of...

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06/24/12    Albums

The James P. Johnson Songbook
Marty Grosz & The Hot Winds

How wonderful that music like this still gets made: honest-to-goodness old-time jazz, done without irony. Guitarist and banjoist Marty Grosz is not so much interested in putting his own stamp on James P. Johnson’s compositions as in delivering them to a...

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06/23/12    Albums

The Baddest Monk
Eric Reed

Eric Reed is making a habit of covering Thelonious Monk. A year after releasing The Dancing Monk , the pianist has issued another album of Monk tunes. The Baddest Monk includes seven of the bebop father’s tunes and two Monk-ish originals. In doing so, Reed...

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06/22/12    Albums

20th Century Folk Selections
Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric

Calling this record 20th Century Folk Selections may be a bit of a stretch—it includes more rock songs than anything else—but guitarist Todd Clouser’s point is clear: Anything, especially popular music, can become the basis for jazz-minded improvisation...

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06/19/12    Albums

Spectrum Road
Spectrum Road

Spectrum Road is not the first group to pay homage to Tony Williams’ band Lifetime—Trio Beyond, with Jack DeJohnette, Larry Goldings and John Scofield, put out the excellent Saudades in 2006—but it may be the rowdiest. This all-star quartet (named for a...

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05/31/12    Albums

Live at the Hillside Club
Joel Forrester/Phillip Johnston

Pianist Joel Forrester and soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston have been playing together for 35 years, most famously as the leaders of the Microscopic Septet. The span of their partnership shows. This recent duo album, recorded in November 2010 at a gig...

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05/30/12    Albums

Tord Gustavsen Quartet
The Well

Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen expanded his customary trio by adding a vocalist and a saxophonist on his last album, and he’s kept saxophonist Tore Brunborg onboard for his fifth ECM record, The Well . The trademarks of what we can by now call the Gustavsen...

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05/12/12    Albums

Landscape Scripture
Scott DuBois

Are we to believe that Monet’s series of Haystacks paintings inspired guitarist Scott DuBois’ new album? The titles of four of the eight songs on it—“Spring Haystacks,” “Summer Haystacks,” “Autumn Haystacks” and “Winter Haystacks”—reference those Impressionist...

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04/28/12    Albums

En Casa De Luis
Luis Conte

You sure are in Luis’ house when you put this CD on. It is all about the percussion, and lots of it. Congas, bongos, bombo, timbales, maracas, shakers, guiro, cajón, quinto, pandeiros, shekere, cajita, qraqab, surdo, sabar, djembe, cymbals, claves, cowbell...

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04/18/12    Albums

An Attitude for Gratitude
Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts

In 1999, Matt Wilson released an album called Smile . But every album the drummer puts out makes you smile. Wilson is by no means a clown—he’s a serious musician, composer and bandleader—but enjoyment is job number one with him. The fourth album by his quartet...

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02/15/12    Albums

A New Margin
Side A

The prolific multireedist Ken Vandermark leads multiple bands at the same time, yet few of his outings have included a pianist. This is partly what makes his new trio project, Side A, so momentous: The piano adds a dimension to his music that is rarely heard...

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02/03/12    Albums

Ghosts of the Sun
Bill McHenry

Tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry’s music is lovely without being precious, free without being unorganized, sophisticated without being pretentious, thoughtful without being calculating. His latest album, Ghosts of the Sun , appears to be a sequel to his outstanding...

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01/30/12    Albums

Departure of Reason
Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone

Steve Greenlee reviews the collaboration between the guitarist and violinist

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About Steve Greenlee

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Steve Greenlee is an editor and jazz writer with The Boston Globe. He grew up listening to Smiths, the Cure and Depeche Mode but eventually found religion in "Kind of Blue" and "Bitches Brew." He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three children, annoying them with obscure recordings by Sun Ra and Last Exit. He plays keys in The Barn Goats groove-jazz quartet and also runs really fast.