It’s been a minute since I’ve done a full-on music review; the daily grind’s got me in a cell these last few. So, I thought I’d pick something I dug to write about for this one.
Last year, The Chris Greene Quartet out of my hometown of Chi dropped one of the better Jazz albums of 2007. You’re hard pressed to find a critic or a listener that didn’t dig Soul & Science Vol. 1. from the Chris Greene Quartet. From their cover of Sting’s King of Pain and Stevie Wonder’s Boogie on Reggae to their original compositions (4.23), it was a stereo staple.
Now comes CGQ with their follow-up, Soul & Science Vol. 2: Electric Boogaloo.
When I listened to S&SV2 it was like someone told them,“Okay, here’s your starting point—you can’t stay here, but you can’t lose me either. Oh, and it’s gotta be soulful and funky.” And truth be told
For starters, where Vol. One was a 6-track, S&S Vol 2 flexes a little more, giving you 9 servings of soulful genre bending goodness. There's "You Win Again"—a Hank Williams' cover of all things. I think they did Hank proud, by really getting into the bluesy soul of the song but still giving it a good jazz footing. Boogie 2.0 is a funky, driving tune that picks up from where Volume One leaves off but with more original playing from Greene.
Other high-end cuts include The Oracle, Adamantium (part III), and Boogie 2.0 all of which include some wonderful electric piano and bass work courtesy of Damian Espinosa (piano) and Marc Piane (bass).
Overall, Soul & Science Vol 2 (and its predecessor for that matter) is about mixing influences and expanding Jazz to be inclusive of the genres its influenced most—namely Soul, R&B. To that end, The Chris Greene Quartet pushes hard and takes you for a nice rich ride of sounds that are unmistakably Jazz, but so much more.
Track Listing: Intro; Amalgasantos; Bernie's Tune; Adamantium (Part III); Boogie 2.0; You Win Again; The Oracle; Boogie (reprise); Take Care of Yourself.
Personnel: Chris Greene: saxophones; Tyrone Blair: drums, percussion. Damian Espinosa: piano, keyboards; Marc Piane: acoustic bass.
As a bonus, here's an older version of Take Care of Yourself from CGQ. It made it onto Vol 2 in a different arrangement from this one. Enjoy.