Inspired by the speed in which Indie and Electronic musicians can now produce new material, Greenstein has turned his focus to releasing more music, documenting his artistic journey and connecting faster to his growing audience. Built upon a foundation of traditional jazz but using a modern sound palette, Greenstein’s trilogy aims to push the boundaries of modern improvised music while moving closer to conventional song structures and pop infusions with each release.
On Vol 1, Greenstein has enlisted an all-star ensemble that boasts versatility, inventiveness and word-renown: guitarist Gilad Hekselman, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Or Bareket and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr.
With an emphasis on the song, Greenstein’s music offers a fresh take on lyrical melodies and dynamic uses of space against flexible frameworks that push the boundaries of the traditional jazz form. Recorded with only acoustic instruments, Vol 1 begins the cycle with its roots planted firmly in the modern jazz idiom with a wink of the grooves to come in Vol 2, eventually concluding with a distinct new beat to be heard on Vol 3.
“Vol 1 is a summarization of the past few years of my life and dreaming of what’s to come in song,” says Greenstein, “…it’s a quest to become part of the listeners life.” Additionally, Greenstein aims to reflect the live experience that only jazz can offer through a stripped down, raw recording process that does not utilize punch ins or special after effects.
Greenstein’s influences range from Rock and Hip Hop to Electronic and Alternative- all of which can be heard in varying degrees on the jazz foundation he’s laid in Vol 1’s six tracks. Echoing the likes of Terrence Blanchard, this cross-genre exploration is evident not just throughout the EP but also throughout the songs themselves. Particularly “HELPDAYNASTEPHENS.ORG" IN Gm, PRELUDE” takes the listener from atmospheric Electronica to a hard-hitting rhythmic cacophony fronted by the captivating Whitfield before settling into a pulsing groove reminiscent of J. Dilla. Equally entrancing is Greenstein’s reimagining of Bjork’s ethereal “Who Is It” where he trades her signature cathedralesque bells for intricate reworking performed by his innovative quintet.
MORE ABOUT JONATHAN GREENSTEIN:
Described by the Jerusalem Post as having "surprising maturity" and heralded by sax great Myron Walden as having "...magnificent playing... ever clever and thoughtful compositions", Jonathan Greenstein is a promising rising talent, already possessing a unique, identifiable style, a jaw-dropping energetic live show and an exciting concept for Jazz in our times.
Following the release of "Thinking" - His debut album for Fresh Sound : New Talent, where artists like Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel started their careers - and performances in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau and his homeland, Israel, Jonathan moved to New York City.
Greenstein has stayed in active in the New York Jazz scene, playing and studying with Eric Harland, Linda Oh, Justin Brown, Omer Avital, Steve Wilson, Joe Lovano, Gilad Hekselman, Jeremy Pelt, Shai Maestro, Kevin Heys and Grammy Award winning artist Terri Lynn Carrington to name just a few.
“Vol 1” is all I appreciate: It’s intelligent in its complexity as it keeps your attention on all the way, amazed by the composition and the musicians (which are seriously awesome); It’s intelligent in its accessibility as one can catch all the ideas from the 1st listening, and get into new layers for each new play. Full feature here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
This combustible music’s hard edges are burned soft by drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., who pummels the groove like an angry street cleaner. Amid his fury and Greenstein’s froth, Hekselman appears as the gentle soul, calming the waves. Read here.
A SLICE OF JAZZ
The energy and the ebullience of this album really comes through from the start. I think this is a combination of good writing from Greenstein and good rapport with the players who are all at the top of their craft. Listen to the whole show here. starting at around 14:40.
“He’s got a rich and inviting tone on the tenor as he lets a warm “Opening” slowly turn into an assertive groove with the rhythm team without missing a step." Read here.
"It’s intelligent in its accessibility as one can catch all the ideas from the 1st listening, and get into new layers for each new play." Read full review here.