Benny Green led a popular trio from near the beginning of his career to around 2000, when he abruptly disbanded, not leading a band for a decade, aside from some duo recordings with guitarist Russell Malone. But a recording session with the rhythm team of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington to accompany guitarist Satoshi Inoue rekindled the fire in the pianist's belly, resulting in this outstanding session. The two Washingtons have worked together frequently during their careers, while Green is on fire interacting with them. The ten pieces are all works by jazz composers, including both well-known and obscure works. It's little surprise to hear Green tackling Bud Powell's furious bop anthem "Tempus Fugue-It"; the veteran pianist indulges in fireworks and engages his drummer trading fours, while he also delivers a rollicking treatment of Horace Silver's "Opus de Funk." Mel Tormé's lush, bittersweet ballad "Born to Be Blue" is also in good hands, with Green's adept use of the sustaining pedal adding to the mood. The less-familiar songs are equally delightful. Green captures the loneliness of walking Manhattan streets late at night with his shimmering rendition of Benny Golson's "Park Avenue Petite." Aside from "Grooveyard," Carl Perkins' songs have been overlooked, but Green turns in an infectious, choppy version of this hard bop vehicle, winding it up with an unresolved ending. The trio of Benny Green, Peter Washington, and Kenny Washington could easily be the start of something big.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden