I remember the sessions for Chris Greene's “Boundary Issues” CD. There was a moment of personal distillation for the project when Chris was joined by Marqueal Jordan for the titanic duet “The Crossover
Appeal.” Rather than my normal perch at the shoulder of engineer Rob Ruccia, I felt a call to be in the studio. I needed a “face-full” of the band's energy. Within the first few measures, a jolt shivered me from the nape of my neck to the soles of my feet. I turned to look at Rob through the control room glass, hoping he caught the electricity as well...we sported a simultaneous smile. This was the Chris Greene Quartet at its finest, live and alive!
All of the accolades and awards bestowed on this band over the last seven years are galvanized in their live performance. Every time they take the stage, it's an event. The music crackles with energy and
eagerness as it strolls from table to table, speaking directly to each listener with the language of joy. On January 28, 2018 there was such a night at SPACE, in Evanston. Here it is, just for you...including the aforementioned “Crossover Appeal.”
The Chris Greene Quartet is Steve Corley, drums; Marc Piane, bass; Damian Espinosa, keyboards; and Chris Greene on reeds. Allow me to elaborate.
Steve Corley is one of the finest drummers I have ever heard in fifty years of recording. Here is someone that can play from a whisper to a riot with the same unmistakable identity, musicality, tone, attention to detail, and rock-solid time. On Marc Piane's gem “Clean & Clear” (performed live in this recording), I could swear there are two drummers.
Speaking of my friend Marc, the word “brilliant” seems a lesser thought. His part in the ensemble is flawless, lending superb interpretations to the catalog of original music. Marc's own compositions weave complex subtlety through indelible melodies, always deep in concept.
I have to stop for a moment every time I mix one of Damian's tunes,. “Did he really do that?” Precocious, daring, unexpected turns that flow as threads into a stream of consciousness, carrying the listener to new places. “Thunder Snow” and “3 & 6” are flights of imagination manifested into the real world. “What a brain” I often speak to no one but myself...and now to you.
Chris consistently challenges convention, finds a new path, dares the tide. Without posture, he embodies a sense of confident exploration. “Blues for Dr. Fear” stands as a hallmark style, quirky and captivating, played with a secret grin. I have heard him embrace disparate genres and execute a mash-up of unbelievable coherence and entertainment. The band's interpretation of Wayne Shorter's “Speak No Evil” is a perfect instance of homage and CGQ personalization.
Affection for these men often clouds my objectivity...so be it. Let's return to the phrase “live and alive.” Our classic jazz environment pays great attention to standards, rightly so. The Chris Greene Quartet is not simply a re-imagining of the Great American Songbook. This is an elemental re shaping of the progressive movement in jazz. The Chris Greene Quartet presents music with its toes on the edge of a great experiment. Here are compositions that will endure the test of time...an emerging musical generation, a new American Songbook.
- Joe Tortorici, producer & engineer, January 2019
released February 1, 2019
Chris Greene - saxophones
Damian Espinosa - piano & keyboards
Marc Piane - basses
Steve Corley - drums & percussion
Special guest: Marqueal Jordan - alto saxophone (track #5)
Recorded live on January 28, 2018 at SPACE, Evanston, IL. Live engineering and digital recording by Matt Rico. Mixed by Joe Tortorici at The Cave.
Mastered by Rob Ruccia at Uptown Recording
Produced by Joe Tortorici for Jazz Masters and Chris Greene for Cee Gee Music.
Photography by Ozzie Ramsay
Cover illustration by Cary Cochrane
Graphic design and layout: Michael Kostal
Love ’n’ thanks to: Sarah & Alex; the Espinosas; the Pianes; the Corleys; Joe T.; Rob R. Marqueal; SPACE; Mom, Jenny, Roger & Fiona; Demps; Matt; Kevin; the Langers; the Sceguras; Julio; Coop & Jen; Ted Perez; the Midnight Sun crew; MxMurphy; Hash; Paul Maslin; Cara Dawn; Mike Kostal; Doug T; Vandoren/DANSR; our fans; YOU
Chris Greene is a Vandoren Performing Artist. He exclusively uses their mouthpieces, reeds and accessories.
The CGQ has been a highly visible part of Chicago’s jazz scene since 2005, and has maintained a stable lineup from the
beginning, with the exception of Steve Corley, drummer since 2011. Damian Espinosa on piano and keyboards and Marc Piane on basses have been onboard since the beginning. CGQ incorporates funk, hip-hop, rock, pop, the blues and reggae, reflecting their diverse backgrounds....more