Release Date: March 29, 2024
Label: Green Soul Studios
Seems stands as a rallying cry for unity amidst widespread and variegated division. Appearing alongside Green on the album is her stalwart quartet of Evan Hyde (drums), Luca Soul Rosenfeld (bass), and Elijah J. Thomas (flute), with special guest appearances by the masterful Rich Perry (tenor saxophone).
For Green, Seems stands as much more than an album of music; it is a recorded statement of hope, an optimistic manifesto, and a call issued for concordance across the human species, both with one another and with the world we inhabit. “The illusion of separateness seems to prevail,” Green explains. “Between groups of people, the human race and the natural world, and individualized Souls and the One unifying Spirit. This album is an expression of my yearning for unity and an attempt to exemplify that through our love for one another and for our audience.” Through a carefully curated exhibition of original works, lovingly crafted arrangements, and a blend of vocal and instrumental features that is refreshingly balanced, Green successfully embarks on her sonic quest to unite her audiences.
The album’s title, Seems, is a synecdochic representation of a broader mantra: “Things are not as they seem; with a closer look, all are one.” This statement carries with it multiple layers of meaning, referencing a wider, societal interpretation, and a closer, more personal view of Green’s music. The former is a comment stemming from Green’s cogitation on the world around us. “It may seem to us that the physical reality is all there is. It may seem like the human race is a species apart from the natural world. It may seem to us that there are separate groups of people whose world views will always clash and keep us at war,” Green says. “Upon further personal study I’ve come to realize that there is only one Spirit which is the common thread that binds each individualized soul to each other, stitching us together at the seams.” The title, Seems, then acts as a summary for Green’s perspective, while simultaneously standing as wordplay on the idea of stitching society together at the seams. The second layer of meaning refers to Green’s musical persona. “It may seem to some people that my output as an artist is only one thing, whether that be vocal or instrumental, traditional or modern, composed or improvised,” Green says. “However, my music encompasses all of those musical subsets. The open-mindedness and versatility of the musicians in the band is what ties these seemingly opposed elements together.” Indeed, throughout this album, Green utilizes what in other situations may be seen as disparate elements to stitch together a cohesive narrative to bolster and execute her call for unity.
As a composer and arranger, Green writes to serve the lyrics and the melody, embracing a highly emotive tradition to bring her music to life. All her music is recorded without overdubs, allowing listeners to hear the true, raw sound as if they were at a live performance. As such, on every track featuring vocals, Green recorded her vocals and piano simultaneously, as this is how she performs live. Musically, Green’s style is influenced by the now-classic sound of 1950s and 1960s bandleaders, evoking the sensibilities of Shirley Horn, Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, and Ahmad Jamal. This timeless soundscape intertwined into Green’s emotion-first compositional style creates an immersive listening experience for audiences that strikes the head and heart simultaneously.
The album’s blend of originals and arrangements, and vocal-driven and instrumental features keeps listeners drawn in and attentive as each new track, while unified thematically, poses an exciting element of orchestrational unpredictability. “What To Do” is a lyric-based original piece that weaves together the instrumental and vocal elements flawlessly. Thematically exhorting audiences to pursue truth, love their fellow man, and show love to the earth around them, this piece straddles the line between Green’s grief at the state of the human species currently with underpinnings of hope for what people are capable of achieving as we seek out truth. Featuring a pensive bass solo that hands off to Green’s emotional piano solo with provocative background lines improvised by Thomas on flute, “What To Do” captures succinctly and heart-rendingly what it sets out to achieve. “Rich’s Stitches'' was composed by Green specifically for Rich Perry, who makes his second of two guest appearances on this track. “The emotional affect of Rich Perry’s sound inspired me to write this instrumental piece to feature him and to convey the theme of the common thread that runs through all living things, Spirit,” Green tells. “To me, Rich’s lines represent the thread that will stitch the world back together, rather than let it continue to be ripped apart at its seams.”
“World Of My Own” is the opening song from the 1951 animated Disney Classic, Alice in Wonderland. With lyrics that express hope for a deeper connection to and understanding of the natural world, Green knew that this piece was a must to add to the overall concept of Seems. With a melody that naturally lends itself to the straight-ahead swing feel the band placed on it, this track is an instant hit that accentuates the album’s message with spirited joy and uplifting groove. The track “Down That Road” stands out as a stylistic contrast, and showcases Green’s breadth as a composer, arranger, and improviser. An original work, “Down That Road” is an instrumental piece that highlights the intricate interplay and conversational ability of the band, the mastery of their instruments, and their trust for one another. “The title signifies the concept that every moment is a choice between a grievance and a miracle,” Green says. “As individuals, our mental and spiritual health is determined by our ability to choose the miracle and not go down that road of hopelessness, despair, and self loathing.”
With Seems, Green presents a profound statement that deeply pours from herself into the hearts and souls of her listeners. Whether singing, playing, or leading the band, Green performs and composes with an honesty and openness that lends a scintillating authenticity to her message.
Seems releases digitally and on CD and vinyl on March 29, 2024 via Green Soul Studios.
"Kelly Green Trio: Volume One"
Street Date: December 5th, 2018
A follow up to her 2017 debut Life Rearranged, which featured luminaries Christian McBride and Steve Nelson, Volume One presents the talented songstress at home with her long-standing trio consisting of Alex Tremblay (bass) and Evan Hyde (drums). The release of Volume One will be celebrated on December 5th at Mezzrow. The Kelly Green Trio will present material from this new project next week, October 23-27, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola during the Late Night Session.
NEA Jazz Master George Coleman, with whom Kelly recently performed with says: "I had the opportunity to play with Kelly Green’s trio and I was very impressed with her and each of the individuals in her group. I can see that the Kelly Green Trio is going to be one of the most outstanding groups in New York City. This album will be quite successful and will receive high ratings!”
On Volume One, Kelly presents a collection of well known standards and one original- each reimagined in her own personal style. “All of the songs I choose to sing and record totally relate to my own personal feelings throughout my life,” she says. Track highlights include her rendition of Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m Old Fashioned” and Maybel Wayne and Kim Gannon’s “I Understand”. “Many times I feel that I am old fashioned and more conventional in a lot of personal respects, however our arrangement of "I'm Old Fashioned" is ironic because it is a very modern and unconventional way to play the song,” she says. Kelly chose to perform “I Understand” after the lyrics touched her. “I think everyone has had this feeling of hopelessly loving someone and forgiving them no matter what and this song emotes that to the utmost degree. This is one of my favorite songs to perform, the whole room always gets completely silent and still when we play it.”
Her original composition “Daily Lies” is a commentary on the state of the world and political climate while hoping for a bright future. She sings: "Tell me that you have learned your lesson now, but not unless it's the truth. I don't know why you tell those daily lies, seems like it don't bother you. Yesterday seems like a dream come true to every boy and girl. How can we safely redeem our world and save our Mother Earth?”
After stunning critics and audiences with her debut last year, Kelly is excited to share her debut trio project with the world. “This band is a fruition of a vision. As a teenager in Orlando, Florida, I knew that I wanted to be a jazz musician in New York City. I could not have imagined a better trio than the one we have cultivated with Alex and Evan. I’ve always wanted to have a working band with dedicated musicians who desire to play the music with the same language and passion as myself.” On Volume One, the simpatico between the musicians and truly palpable. Although the trio has been together for less than two years, they have already traveled throughout the United States and overseas to delight audiences with their unique, tight arrangements and cohesive sound.
“Musicians and non-musicians alike get excited and emotional in our performances as they watch our stories unfold. We strive to bring audiences to a place outside of themselves and take them on a journey through each song.” The album was recorded ‘live’ in the studio after a month long tour to capture the most authentic sound and emotions in the moment.
With the release of Volume One, Kelly Green has established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene in New York City. Born and raised in Florida, The William Paterson University Masters Graduate has honed her skill, under the guidance of an array of accomplished mentors including, the late Mulgrew Miller, Harold Mabern, James Weidman, Cecil Bridgewater, Gary Kirkpatrick, Bill Mobley, Armen Donelian, Rich Perry, Dave Rogers, and Bill Goodwin. Green also had the privilege of being the pianist in the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra, which was led by head of the WP Jazz Department, Dr. David Demsey
Street Date: September 29th, 2017
Life Rearranged, a 13-track opus of deeply personal and inspiring compositions, finds Green in excellent company with renowned bassist Christian McBride and esteemed vibraphonist Steve Nelson. Joining is an ensemble of highly sought after musicians including Jovan Alexandre on tenor saxophone, Josh Evans on trumpet, bassists Matt Dwonszyk and Tamir Shmerling, Steve Nelson on vibraphone, Mike Troy on alto saxophone and drummers Noam Israeli and Kush Abadey. After packing the house for her first album release show at Fat Cat last month, Green will present two more performances celebrating Life Rearranged: she will be performing at The Cell on Saturday, November 18th and at Smalls on Wednesday, December 13th.
Green, who has performed with NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath was honored to have this stellar line-up join her on her debut release.
"This band is a fruition of a vision. As a young aspiring jazz musician in Florida, I could only have dreamed of the opportunity to play with such incredible musicians and friends. I write and arrange music specifically for these musicians to play.”
With these outstanding musicians at her side, Green is delighted to bring her music compositions to life in solo, duo, trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet formats. Life Rearranged is made up of an array of artful originals and newly arranged renditions of classic standards such as Frank Loesser’s “I’ll Know” and “Never Will I Marry” and others. Over the course of its nearly 70 minute run time, the listener is taken through every emotion on the spectrum: the highest highs, the lowest lows, and everything in between.
“Honesty is one of the key elements of my music, allowing listeners to feel that they are not alone in their emotions and that we are all together as one.”
Born and raised in Florida, The William Paterson University Masters Graduate has honed her skill, under the guidance of an array of accomplished mentors including, Harold Mabern, James Weidman, Cecil Bridgewater, Gary Kirkpatrick, Mulgrew Miller, Bill Mobley, Armen Donelian, Rich Perry, Dave Rogers, and Bill Goodwin. Green also had the privilege of being the pianist in the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra, which was led by head of the WP Jazz Department, Dr. David Demsey. Her skill and versatility, developed through these past experiences is transparent on Life Rearranged and during her live performances.
CANCION A QUEMARROPA
"Through a carefully curated exposition of original works, carefully crafted arrangements, and a refreshingly balanced blend of vocal and instrumental features, Green successfully embarks on his sonic quest to unite his audiences." Check out the full review here.
For Kelly Green Trio: Volume One
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"Kelly Green brings a fresh understanding of standards to her sophomore album, Volume One. Green's facile pianism is the optimal showcase for her fluid, expressive vocals."
"A nice refashioning of a handful of oldies, she bridges the generations nicely." Read the full review here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Greens voice and singing style are a fortuitous package deal providing beautifully conversational singing with a solid range and certain expression." Read the full review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"With refreshing flair/flare, the trio, inspired by the lady's devilish muse, sparks new life into some real old chestnuts." Read the full review here.
"Pianist, vocalist and composer Kelly Green is at home playing with her long-standing trio." Read the full feature here.
THE ARTS FUSE
"Green has real piano chops and, as a singer, she is impressively restless, exploring various corners of her vocal equipment — and emotional palette — to create a compelling vocal style." Read the full review here.
For Life Rearranged
NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY
"What’s most auspicious is her own compositions, and the outside-the-box sensibility that pervades them." Read the full review here.
LA JAZZ SCENE
"Her piano playing is sophisticated and modern while also being connected to the tradition. Her vocals (heard on half of the numbers) are subtle, quietly expressive and full of insight." Check out the full feature here.
That Sunday afternoon kind of chanteuse, Green knows well how to attract top jazz cats to help her with her vision of the tortured artist effect. Check out the full feature here.
THE MERCURY NEWS
"Accompanying herself with harmonic wit and rhythmic drive, she performs a set of smart original songs and reimagined standards, delivered with a vocal style that’s cool but emotionally absorbing." Read full feature here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
“Green's composing skills are more than impressive, making this first recording that much more appealing.” Read the full feature here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"Kelly Green is a triple threat here as pianist, vocalist and composer, mixing her own material with standards as she teams up with all stars Jovan Alexandre (tenor saxophone), Josh Evans (trumpet), Tamir Shmerling/Matt Dwonszyk/Christian McBride (bass), Noam Israeli/Kush Abadey (drums), Mike Troy (alto saxophone) and Steve Nelson (vibraphonist)." Read the full review here.