“Then and Now” – The Latest Album from Benny Green – now available: Listen
it’s been wonderful hearing from from Jazz lovers around the world that my stories and music are of interest. thank you for showing me that you appreciate what I have to say. I’m grateful to my friends and colleagues who demonstrate the beauty of positive thoughts and words to me, thank you all for teaching me fresh ways to shine light on others in each day. only through music do I have the good fortune to know and observe you. I want to do my mentors right and I want the music to feel good, with no compromise or gimmicks. so… straight ahead!
my Father introduced me to this music. his name is Bert Green, he was born in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, in 1928. he played the tenor saxophone with all his heart, and while he consistently showed me throughout my precious time with him a selfless admiration for any cat who could really play the horn, his musical hero and prime inspiration was unquestionably Lester Willis Young, ‘Prez’. recordings like the 1936 Count Basie small group session with ‘shoe shine boy’ and ‘lady be good’, his solos with the Basie orchestra in the late 1930’s into the early ’40’s, and most of all the dreamworld realm of Prez’s recordings with Billie Holiday, formed the core foundation for my Father as a tenor player. you could hear and feel it whenever he put that 1938 lacquer-barren selmer balanced-action tenor in his mouth. my Dad. pretty much my Father’s last words to me years later as he was dying in his bed at home, were ‘you’re a beautiful cat’. that’s what my Dad was; a beautiful cat.
he seemed to understand musical expression profoundly as a listener, be it Bartok or Slim and Slam, and as a player he swung and played the blues. he made no secret that he expected authenticity from me as a Jazz musician, as his ‘son-of-the-righthand-man’, which he explained to me is what my name, Benjamin, means. read more…