Steve Greenlee

Steve’s Contributions


05/13/13    Albums

Venture Inward
David Weiss & Point of Departure

Let’s call bunk on the claim that jazz should always find new things to say. Venture Inward , the new platter from trumpeter David Weiss and his quintet Point of Departure, is steeped in 1960s postbop—specifically that of Miles Davis—and it would be futile...


05/11/13    Albums

Long Story Short: Curated By Peter Brötzmann
Various Artists

The five-CD set Long Story Short is a distillation of the 2011 Music Unlimited festival in Wels, Austria, curated by angry-jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann. The box set presents more than six hours of free jazz performed by 18 different configurations, some...


05/05/13    Albums

The Nows
Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley

Paul Lytton and Nate Wooley make a good match. The English drummer and the American trumpeter (respectively) are a pair of iconoclasts, and on The Nows they create strangely alluring modern improvised music that contains not one iota of anything musical...


04/28/13    Albums

Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus
Nilson Matta

Growing up in Brazil, bassist Nilson Matta was obsessed with the music from the 1956 play Orfeu da Conceição and, later, from the film based on it, 1959’s Black Orpheus . Both featured songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá, and that music would be...


04/22/13    Albums

We Want Groove
Rock Candy Funk Party

If you could put James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Joe Satriani, Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive and the Heavy in a blender, you might wind up with Rock Candy Funk Party, whose music sounds exactly like its name. It stands to reason. The five guys in...


10/02/12    Albums

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...


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...


07/29/12    Albums

The Gowanus Sessions

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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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About Steve Greenlee