My first experience with Paul Green was a bit surprising. I didn't read the One Sheet, I didn't research him on-line, I had no idea what I was walking into. So my first reaction to Green's heavy Klezmer approach paired with the many variations of Jazz threw me for a bit of a loop, but ultimately became a thought provoking experience that had me reflecting on music, film, and the world.
Not really being a constant visitor to Klezmer music other then when I hear it in film or catch the similarities to it in Russian, Egyptian, and even at times American Big Band Jazz, it was refreshing to enjoy something new.
Green's style on Clarinet is like marathoning a chameleon actor or director. At times the music can be jovial and full of life and at others it can be sad, dramatic and moody, but whatever emotion Green and his band express it always seems to be knitted together with sincere capable hands.
When later I visited the One Sheet for the album I wasn't so shocked to find Green noting that the album is a manifestation of his cultural roots but also as a love for the Jazz he grew up with (naming Louis Armstrong as an inspiration). He wanted the album to be a pairing of the two worlds, and boy did he accomplish just that.
Accompanying Green on the album is Alan Simon on piano. In the first track alone, Tarras Doina and Blues, you can feel the Bluesy Jazz inspirations flowing from his fingertips but later the subtle underlying moodiness of his work on Shein Vi Di L'Vone. Regardless of the tune or mood Simon seems to be the man for the job.
On Saxophone (alto and tenor) is Bruce Krasin. Krasin manages a smoky blues feel on some tracks but on others he has a strong swing presence that fits in oddly nicely in the heart of the music.
Michael Musillami on guitar really manages to set some moods on the album. The very dramatic Si La Mar Era de Leche in which his guitar strumming lays way back in an ominous atmosphere that contrasts well with Green's just as ominous and at times sad setting is a fine example.
Daniel Broad on Bass and Bill Chapman on Drums really set the drive for the album as sometimes background cores to upfront drivers on tracks. They never surpass Green in the spotlight, but they do manage pull everything together by adapting to any sound being produced on the album with a precise emulation that provides a glimpse at their range.
All together I feel like I wont soon find an album as emotionally rooted, worldly driven, or as refreshing and interesting as Paul Green's Music Coming Together. It's just so different from what I'm used to but just as easily capable of making you fall in love with the music. The moods, the ambiance, the atmospheres. This album has it all.