Monday, March 16, 2009

He's got Brazil in mind (among other things)

Jazz pianist Danny Green is exploring 'different harmonies and melodic forms'

2:00 a.m. March 15, 2009

“For me, music is another form of communication,” says jazz pianist Danny Green. (Laura Embry / Union-Tribune) -

Although they won't be married here until June, Emily Kohl has already inspired a unique wedding and pre-wedding present rolled into one from her fiancée, San Diego jazz pianist Danny Green.

Not only did Green write his stirring ballad, “With You in Mind,” for her, he also made it the title track of his impressive debut album, which was jointly released in January by two locally based labels, Alante Recordings and Pacific Coast Jazz.

The song “With You in Mind” will also be performed live as the wedding processional music for Kohl, although Green won't be playing it himself at the ceremony on Coronado.

“I'll kind of be busy standing up there with the rabbi,” said Green, who has asked one of his former UCSD music professors, Kamau Kenyatta, to do the honors for him on piano.

Equally adept at jazz, classical and various Brazilian styles, Green uses his 11-song album to showcase his passion for borders-leaping genres. But even in its most intricate moments, his music never sacrifices soul for technique or substance for flash.

“I used to play a lot more flashy and hurt my hands from doing too much,” said the San Diego native, who graduated from UCSD in 2004, lives in Normal Heights and averages up to five performances a week. “So, when I started geting into Brazilian music, I made it a key point to get away from using flashy tricks and to play with more substance.”


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