"Kelly Green is a delightful up-and-comer well worth discovering!"
-Scott Yanow, NYC Jazz Record
“Kelly Green is a triple threat as pianist, vocalist and composer”
-Jazz Weekly, George Harris
“Her piano playing is sophisticated and modern while also being connected to the tradition. Her vocals are subtle, quietly expressive and full of insight.”
- Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
“Her love of music-making and of her audience is as warmly undeniable as it is rare in this hypercompetitive digital age.”
- San Francisco Classical Voice, Jeff Kaliss
“Vocally, Sarah Vaughan seems to be an obvious influence; on the keys, Green plays with a strong sense for space and a flair for the unexpected…What’s most auspicious is her own compositions, and the outside-the-box sensibility that pervades them.”
- New York Music Daily
“She is no mere songwriter, but an artist and performer in toto…Green’s composing skills are more than impressive.”
-All About Jazz, C. Michael Bailey
L.A. Jazz Scene
It is difficult to believe that Life Rearranged is Kelly Green’s recording debut (not counting an album of originals that she recorded while in high school). 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. Ms. Green contributed six of the dozen selections to Life Rearranged while choosing the six standards carefully, only performing lyrics that are meaningful to her. And she contributed all of the arrangements for groups ranging from a sextet to her solo version of the title piece.
There are many highpoints to this impressive set. “Never Will I Marry” and “I Should Care” are given fresh vocals as Kelly Green really digs into the words. “If You Thought To Ask Me” is a moody instrumental that is well worth being adopted by others. Tenor-saxophonist Jovan Alexandre and trumpeter Josh Evans both blow up a storm during the lengthy and episodic “Culture Shock” (altoist Mike Troy is excellent too) while bassist Christian McBride and vibraphonist Steve Nelson make welcome contributions to a few selections.
But the main star is Kelly Green, whose wistful ballad singing on “Simple Feelings” and “If I’m Lucky” show a maturity that one would not expect from a performer near the beginning of her career. Life Rearranged is highly recommended and available from www.kellygreenpiano.com
by Scott Yanow" http://www.lajazzscene.buzz
Hot House Magazine
by George Harris
All About Jazz
Do you remember when writers would refer to the composers of Broadway show tunes as singing with a "lyricist's voice," meaning don't expect too much from the quality of the singing? Well, that does not apply to Florida-borne, New York City native Kelly Green. From the first song presented on her debut recording, Life Rearranged Green establishes that she is no mere songwriter, but an artist and performer in toto. The title song begins with New York City street sounds that give way to an expansive and orchestral piano introduction that goes well beyond simple accompaniment. Green's sure command of the piano and her well-trained voice ensures that she can plumb the depths of even the craggy time signature changes found in her performance of Frank Loesser's "Never Will I Marry." Green's voice is deceptively youthful, but not so much that the song sound contrived. She extrapolates this same element into another Loesser classic, "I'll Know."
Green favors solid and simple accompaniment that includes bassist Christian McBride on four pieces and vibraphonist Steve Nelson, including Green's own "Little Daffodil," where he spreads metallic notes like the wind spreading spring seeds. Freshly close and yet, wide open, the song possesses a funky, descending vibe that reminds one of a morphine dream. Josh Evans muted trumpet adds to the noir here and wherever he shows up. Green's "If you thought to Ask Me" possesses and 1930s personality, something like a cross between Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Green's composing skills are more than impressive, making this first recording that much more appealing. Many are the charms of this first try.
by C Michael Bailey
It’s easy being Kelly Green. At least it looks that way"
Kelly Green’s debut recording, Life Rearranged, released just a few weeks ago, has cemented her place as one of the most-talked-about new jazz artists in America, a rapid rise which makes her the quintessential local girl made good. The Jacksonville-based pianist has plied her trade within the ruthless confines of New York City for the past couple of years, and she’s certainly made the most of every waking moment.
Seven of the album’s 13 tracks are her own compositions; four feature the great Christian McBride, arguably the No. 1 jazz bassist working anywhere in the world today. She’s a big, big fan of his work, and the admiration is reciprocal, as he wrote on the inside cover of the CD: “Kelly Green is one of the most talented and spirited people I know. Everything about her is joyous and swingin’!” Those who’ve followed her relentless path to success—and I count myself among them—readily agree.
Green was born into a musical family in Deland, and grew up in Orlando, where her father is a bassist. She began playing the piano at age 5, but she’s been singing since she was a baby. “I fell in love with Thelonious Monk’s music when I was 11 years old,” she says, “and I’ve been studying jazz ever since. I specifically started with his album Brilliant Corners [released in 1957] and the album Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane,” recorded in 1957, arguably the greatest year in history for that genre.
Her initial training was under Jamey Aebersold and Debbie Clifton, before polishing her skills under Lynne Arriale and Bunky Green at UNF. “The reason I am here today, however, is because of the great Mulgrew Miller,” she says. “He was an incredible human being and created his own language on the instrument and with his compositions. I would not be here today without him.” The pianist was a visiting artist at UNF and helped smooth her passage to William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. While there, she furthered her training under James Weidman and Harold Mabern.
After completing her studies, she moved to New York in 2014. “I’d dreamed of moving to NYC since I was about 15 years old when I was starting to really fall in love with jazz,” she says. “So when I was already in New Jersey, I figured it just made sense to hop over the bridge and hope for the best.” Her instincts were correct: It wasn’t long before she was getting bookings in the city’s resurgent jazz scene, which is suffused with talent from this area. In the subsequent three years, she’s performed in such hip, happening, historic spots as The Blue Note, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (in Lincoln Center, no less), Minton’s Playhouse (where bebop was born in the early ’40s), Mezzrow, Smalls Jazz Club, The Django NYC, Zinc Bar New York, Fat Cat, The Bitter End, Bowery Electric, Rockwood Music Hall, The Flatiron Room, Fine & Rare and the venerable Apollo Theater, as well as gigs in places as diverse as Orlando, San Rafael, Hartford and Medellin, Colombia.
That’s an impressive CV for an artist of any age, but it’s downright stunning for someone so young. Green’s eponymous trio is currently working at Cleopatra’s Needle on the Upper West Side every Sunday, running a jam session for the second half of the night, which lets her give back to the business that’s given her so much. Playing piano while singing is not as easy as it looks (consider: Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.). “It’s extremely hard to do both and be completely free with both at the same time,” she says. “To have good vocal technique and phrase freely while accompanying on piano and playing with the rhythm section is very challenging, but I like to challenge myself.”
In the grand tradition of great jazz records, Life Rearranged was recorded over the course of two days in late 2016, live, in-studio with no overdubs. She brought a band comprising the crème de la crème of New York’s session musicians, including McBride, whom she met while working for his nonprofit, Jazz House Kids, up in Montclair. His nickname for her is “Wynton Kelly Green,” a nod to Wynton Kelly, pianist on Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blue. She pulled from an archive of roughly 50 songs she’s written so far, filling out the set with tunes by Frank Loesser, Paulette Girard, Sammy Cahn and Cole Porter.
“My favorite song is always one that I just recently learned,” she says. “Right now, it’s probably ‘Tongue Twister’ by Mulgrew Miller, for which we have a special trio arrangement. I also love ‘Conception’ by George Shearing.” With one foot firmly planted in the music’s vast history, and the other striding boldly into the future, Kelly Green is keeping ahead of the beat, with no ceiling on her potential. Her success further illustrates the level of talent Northeast Florida has been producing, for years now, with much
more to come.
by Shelton Hull - Jacksonville, FL
Link to article: http://folioweekly.com/stories/greens-energy,18857
San Francisco Classical Voice
Kelly Green Trio : "Volume One" Reviews
Pianist/composer/vocalist Kelly Green released her debut recording, Life Rearranged (Self Produced, 2017) not so long ago by today's output standards. On that recording she revealed herself capable of performing in a variety of formats, with a variety of accompanists. Presently, Green provides us the hopefully-entitled Kelly Green Trio, Volume One, tacitly promising more volumes to come. This is a good thing, because I just figured out the really great thing about Green...well, everything. Mostly, though, Greens voice and singing style are a fortuitous package deal providing beautifully conversational singing with a solid range and certain expression. Volume One is a seven-song collection with six standards and a single, clever original "Daily Lies." The disc opens with a lengthy consideration (9-minutes plus) that is a revelation. Revealed are all of the charms of Green's voice and her orchestral piano style. Bassist Alex Tremblay provides a reliable pulse and excellent solos, as does drummer Evan Hyde . The three easily navigate the Charles Mingus/Joni Mitchell mashup of "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" and the deft be bop of Charlie Parker's "Marmaduke" coupled with Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose," appropriate as both are contrafacts of "I Got Rhythm," but it is Green and her wonderfully sardonic, casual and amiable deliver that makes the day. I am so glad there will be a Volume Two.
- C. Michael Bailey , ALL ABOUT JAZZ
The Arts Fuse
by Steve Provizer
The New York City Jazz Record
Review by Scott Yanow
The Kelly Green Trio opens its debut album, Volume One, with an almost 10-minute rendition of the Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer chestnut “I’m Old-Fashioned” that establishes the opposite premise of the lyric. Subtly reharmonizing the standard, the ensemble sounds anything but out of date, streamlining Kern’s already compressed melody without detracting from the beauty of his ingenious line. It’s a performance that sets a high bar, which Kelly mostly meets through a program full of songs from the first half of the 20th century.
As a pianist, vocalist, arranger, and bandleader, Green maintains a rare balance, interacting with her trio while serving as her own foil. Guided by Evan Hyde’s sure and supple drum work and Alex Tremblay’s bass, the group applies its organically state-of-the-art dynamic to an intriguing array of settings. At more than nine minutes, Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s 1945 hit “I Wish I Knew” gets an expansive treatment similar to Kern, as the group drills down into the song’s wistful and uncertain mood.
The album’s only original, Green’s topical plaint “Daily Lies,” offers a glimpse of her as a composer with a strong melodic sense and a singer with a good feel for material that fits her well and a sound that can take on shades of early Betty Carter without the gymnastics. The trio tightens up the action with a focused version of “My Ideal” and a galloping romp on Joni Mitchell’s “The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines.” The rousing closer, a Bird-meets-Fats medley of “Marmaduke” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” seems designed to elicit a well-deserved encore. Bring on Volume Two.
By: Andrew Gilbert
Russian Review : Jazz Quad
“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! I am looking forward to hearing it myself!”
-NEA Jazz Master, George Coleman
“ Kelly Green is one of the most talented & spirited people I know. Everything about her is joyous and swingin'! ”
-Christian McBride, renowned jazz bassist
"A talented young lady, Kelly Green...you're gonna be hearing a lot more from her!"
-Harold Mabern, renowned jazz pianist
"I have many adopted musical children and Kelly is one that rises to the top! She has such an empowered flare of diplomacy and elegance musically!"
-Johnny O'Neal, renowned jazz pianist/vocalist
"I've watched her musical growth closely during her studies here at UNF and she is very impressive. She completely understands the jazz language and puts it all together in a uniquely fresh way. Additionally, she writes and composes her own material and lyrics. Her maturity for her years is quite striking, that is to say that she plays with an abundance of feeling. I attended her senior recital and was immediately aware of the fact that I was listening to a potential star. She's a free spirit, an artist and she's going all the way to the top. Without the slightest hesitation I highly endorse her. Kelly is a winner!"
-Bunky Green, Jazz Saxophonist, former Director of Jazz Studies at University of North Florida
"It has been a pleasure and an honor to have Kelly Green as a member of our masters program, and as a member of the WP Jazz Orchestra. She was a consistently great student, but also someone who always played and acted like a true professional. She has a wonderful musical essence, takes care of business at the piano in many styles, and is a passionate singer who commands attention and respect onstage. She's one of those people whose spirit can change an entire musical community - that was true at William Paterson, and I look forward to seeing that extend through what I know will be a great career."
-Dr. David Demsey, Jazz Saxophonist, Director of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University