Chris Greene – Saxophones
Damian Espinosa – Piano, keyboards
Marc Piane – Double bass, electric bass
Steve Corley – Drums, percussion
JoVia Armstrong – Percussion
Julio Davis (aka DJ WLS) – Vocals
Marqueal Jordan – Tenor saxophone
Isaiah Sharkey – Electric guitar
Saxophonist Chris Greene’s Boundary Issues consists of an engaging batch of
tunes that channel various types of music. But it also maintains a definite foothold
in mainstream jazz and a strong improvisational rigor. Although on the surface
this seems like old-school fusion, Greene and his quartet have a unique approach
to genre bending, borrowing from different sources and molding them into their own, singular style.
The simmering “Blues for Dr. Fear” has the traditional urban Chicago sound as Greene blows passionate, reverberating lines over the rhythm section’s electrifying swagger. Guitarist Isaiah Sharkey drops in for a blistering solo that is as eloquent as it is fiery and brims with intriguing spontaneity. Pianist Damian Espinosa takes center stage on the electric keyboard, building a captivating extemporization with resonant, dry tones and raw emotion.
Espinoza sets the mood on the funky “The Crossover Appeal” with his soulful vamps. One of the most exciting moments on this vibrant album is the saxophone duel that follows. Guest tenorist Marqueal Jordan and Greene trade agile and ardent phrases that at times echo one another while others diverge into individual monologues.
The expansive piece “Summer Song” features percussionist JoVia Armstrong. She and drummer Steve Corley bring an infectious, Latin feel to this exciting piece. Over this percolating rumble, Espinosa’s acoustic piano cascades with facility and elegance. Greene’s soulful and acerbic tones set the stage for bassist Marc Piane’s muscular and erudite improvisation.
Espinosa’s undulating refrains open “Dienda” on an evocative note. Greene gives the ballad an R&B mood with his warm, funk-inflected soprano. His spontaneous soliloquy is lithe, suave and urbane. Corley’s thunderous beats break through the shimmering lilt of the ensemble play to thrilling effect.
With his eighth release as a leader, Greene continues to demonstrate a delightful exuberance that, together with his evolving artistic maturity, makes his work stimulating and highly enjoyable. No matter the setting, he and his quartet always showcase their superb and sophisticated musicianship that results in a gratifying listening experience
Reviewed by Hrayr Attarian