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★ ★ ★ ★

Review by Brian Morton, Jazz Journal, 2017

The title’s all wrong. Barry Green has arrived already. The writing’ crisp, sharp and adventurous, and his playing has real authority. Notice that the recording was made nearly three yeas ago. He must be positively scary now.

I don’t get to see him play much, but on the three occasions I have, the time zipped by. The album title makes sense in the context of the first track, which is one of those tunes that seems to go all over the place before settling to a groove that isn’t quite as unambiguous as it initially sounds.

Rainey takes a lovely intro feature on Bouncing With Bud as if to remind us what exalted company the Englishman now enjoys. And Rainey is his usual magnificent self, a latter-day Paul Motian, even if they don’t sound remotely alike; the connection is an innate musicality that goes beyond time, metre, even swing.

You’ll Never Walk Alone (played almost solo) has emotional grandeur, even when sung by the Kop (is Green a Reds fan?), but rarely sounds as nuanced as it is here. It’s a terrific for the bop line that precedes it. And Lulu is a devastatingly unexpected sequel.

Two more terrific surprises in the set. Paul Simon’s Train In The Distance, from the underrated, pre-Graceland Hearts and Bones, is a killer, its “life could be better” theme tinged with distant blues; and the other Paul’s Her Majesty, the nearly rejected, hidden out-track on Abbey Road, is a stroke of genius. Nice version of the Monk line, too, but it’s Green’s oblique, clever writing that makes this record. I thought I’d had a bellyful of piano trios this year already, but this ones isn’t to be missed.