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A gifted young pianist

The Place to Be
The Place to Be
By Benny Green

Blue Note Records: 1994

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This review first appeared in the October 14, 1994 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Benny Green continues to duel Marcus Roberts for the role of the best young jazz pianist.

The former Art Blakey and Betty Carter band member's latest release has a harder edge to it than his previous recordings, and he displays more willingness here to take chances. At the same time, Breen maintains his commitment to warmth and melodicism. And his development as a composer makes significant strides here. To give just one example, "Nice Pants," the opening track, features a catchy melody without being lightweight.

The backing band, anchored by the seemingly omnipresent Christian McBride on bass, is outstanding – playing with aggressive energy, constantly pushing Green.