Do ya miss Ronnie Laws' classic Pressure Sensitive? I sure as hell do. It was a gigantic stand-alone LP. And hip to Jean Luc Ponty, are you? Then, man o man, do I ever have the CD for you, you lucky bastard! Enter violinist Chelsey Green and her funky funky FUNKY Green Project…progressive as hell too. Green is so imbued with that same sweet lyrical tone Ponty possessed that you'd swear he was her tutor. Green Room belongs in all prog and jazz collections alongside Jean Luc's Aurora, Imaginary Voyage and in fact his entire oeuvre 'cause that guy never put out even a single mediocre cut. Green Project could easily accompany ensembles like Beat Funktion in concert, and the two would tear the house down night after night, sated audients going home loopy, dazed, blissed out that the old-school 70s jazz/prog fusion mode still lives so damned authentically.
Much of Room is highly charged but the ballads, such as the take on the ol' standard Bell / Creed People Make the World Go Round, take care to wax a bit pastoral—with, of course, the same spark that informs the rest of the disc—as wind, sea, and sky come together for an alternatingly laid back and then spunky beauty pageant. By the time the song reaches its final section, the band's back in full throttle…and may I say that there's a distinctively generous element of the Euro jazz funksters as well? Yep, Joachim Kuhn, Jasper van't Hof, that whole crew, and damn, do I ever miss their version of the mode!
Green lays aside her four-string axe for a moment to sing a swingin' and melismatically scattin' version of Autumn Leaves, soooooooo…can she actually sing??? Yew betchum, Bertram, thus don't be surprised if she ratchets that up next time around. Chelsey is kinda like a mid-range Ella, Randy Crawford, and Nancy Wilson with the slightest husky timbre of Nina Simone, not quite as refined but definitely in the ballpark. The front and center sound, however, is otherwise always the violin, and if you've lamented Eddie Jobson (UK, Roxy Music), Didier Lockwood (Magma, Gong), Karen Briggs (Vertu), David Cross (King Crimson), Joe O'Donnell (Headstone), and the too few violinists—and violists, as Green also plays viola—on the scene over the last few decades being sidelined or bowing out for various reasons, then this CD is a must, filled with top drawer songs and heady musicianship.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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