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Chris Greene Quartet


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Chris Greene QuartetGroup Effort ... CD
Single Malt, 2012. New Copy ... $9.99
A cooking group effort from the Chris Greene Quartet – a great Chicago combo we've watched grow tremendously with each previous release – stepping out here in their first-ever live recording! Greene's got a soulfully sophisticated approach to his saxes that really belies his Windy City roots – with this great way of stretching out on the solos, yet still keeping things real – a bit like Eddie Harris at his best, with the depth of Eric Alexander on tenor,but with some deeper sounds too – which come through especially strong on the album's extended tracks. The rest of the group features electric piano, bass, and drums – and titles include the originals "Shore Up", "Future Emperor Of Evanston", "State", and "Three & Six" – plus a nice cover of "Blue Bossa". CD

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Chris Greene QuartetMusic Appreciation ... CD
Single Malt, 2014. New Copy 2 CDs ... $13.99
A double-length set from Chicago tenorist Chris Greene – but a package that may well not be enough to hold all the new ideas in his music! We've really watched Chris grow strongly over the past few years – and with this wonderfully well-crafted, rich-voiced album, he steps forward to a level that rivals some of the much bigger saxophone talents recording these days for labels like High Note or Criss Cross! Greene's always had a deep tone in his horns – one that draws from a Chicago tradition, but inflects it with some of the more contemporary modes of later players on the scene – like Eric Alexander, who Chris might be approaching with this set. The range of rhythms and song styles is great – never gimmicky, but expanding past standard expectations – so that Greene's group is playing Coltrane and Wayne Shorter one minute, then Martin Denny the next, then Ed Motta, then a huge batch of their own great compositions as well. Instrumentation is simple – Chris on saxes, plus piano or keyboards, bass, and drums – but there's some wide voices here that really make the album compelling – and the longer length very necessary to contain it all. Titles include "Firecracker", "Deluge", "Day of Honor", "Divers", "Solution", "Papuera", "Clean & Clear", "Institutional Samba", and "Nostalgia In Times Square". CD