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Standards

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 10, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 10, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: February 10, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000005GVJ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Standards" is my first listen to Grant Green, and based on this album I will certainly do some further exploration into this unique, somewhat tragic artist. His bright, single-string, reverb-drenched musings of standards by Gershwin, Porter, et al, are strangely compelling. With very little chord-playing, Green's string work sounds like doodling at first, but then slowly he draws you in, and you realize that Green was capable of deep and utterly unique interpretations. The three-piece band (guitar, bass, drums) is remarkably solid and retains a tight, intelligent groove throughout. The liner notes by Pete Welding are very thoughtfully written (I have rarely seen more comprehensive liner notes in jazz albums), and will make you appreciate the music even more. I will definitely purchase Green's "Idle Moments" and "The Latin Bit" CDs for further enjoyment.
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Format: Audio CD
As a trio recording with just bass and drums, this album gives Green the space to stretch out and do more lead guitar work than he does on many of his albums with larger ensembles. Unfortunately a few of the songs on this CD were destroyed during careless remastering in 1980 which ruined the master tapes and resulted in a sound similar to an AM radio dialed in-between frequencies. This is tragic and the damage to the affected songs is far worse than the slight "phasing effect" described on the back cover. It would be nice if some kind of electronic wizardry can be used to restore these tapes to their original sound someday.
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Format: Audio CD
This release indeed consists of jazz standards, but there is nothing "standard" about Green's guitar playing. He interprets each of seven tunes (an alternate take of "If I Had You" is also included) with sensitivity and care. The result is a relaxed set filled with genuine, unforced emotion.
The listener should be aware that Green played this date in a trio setting. Wilbur Ware on bass and Al Harewood on drums mesh tightly with the guitarist on each number. Still, if you want more instrumental variety from a set, you'd be better off to try some of Green's work with larger groups, such as "Matador," "Idle Moments," or "Grantstand."
If you appreciate a free-flowing, low-key approach with thought given to every note, however, "Standards" is for you. Green picked some of the lushest tunes that have attracted jazz musicians, including "I'll Remember April," "Loved Walked In," and "All the Things You Are." This last, recorded by so many before him, receives a particularly affecting treatment from Green. And on "Love Walked In," "You and the Night and the Music," and "I Remember You," in particular, he shows he's not afraid to take these standards into a gentle but firm, swinging groove.
As always, there is little by way of chording from Green on any of these tunes. However, when he does occasionally move away from his single-note approach, it's very effective, as when he quietly strums behind Ware's brief bass solo on "You and the Night and the Music" or when he uses strumming to conclude his extended coda that caps the same song. "All the Things You Are" also uses brief patches of chording to vary the musical landscape.
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