Eddie Green

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The keyboardist Eddie Green established a permanent connection with several aspects of the Philadelphia music scene, including both Philly soul and Philly jazz. Green had come up in the '50s studying…
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The keyboardist Eddie Green established a permanent connection with several aspects of the Philadelphia music scene, including both Philly soul and Philly jazz. Green had come up in the '50s studying with Richie Powell, brother of famed pianist Bud Powell (no slouch himself). He became a member of a widely admired, cutting-edge jazz fusion outfit and fit comfortably into the sophisticated soul happening between steak and cheese sandwiches at recording studios. Despite his talent and potential, it became something of a cliché that nobody would have heard or seen this shade of Green or anything he was involved in unless they resided in Philadelphia or someplace nearby.

While he played on some R&B sessions in the years prior, Green doesn't start showing up in jazz discographies until the late '60s. At that point, he's in hot and heavy company including the fine guitarist Pat Martino, with whom Green kept up a regular collaboration, as well as alto saxophone master Sonny Criss. The ensemble Catalyst became an important part of Green's résumé, an intense grouping that also included saxophonist and bandleader Odean Pope. The group made a series of albums on the Muse label in the first half of the '70s that wisely blended avant-garde, hard bop, Philly soul and even touches of classical. There was a buzz about this band with hipsters, and the group's reputation has only been strengthened by historic appraisal. Nonetheless nobody involved with the group gained much in terms of immediate fame and fortune. Green also performed and recorded much less diverse music with the Three Degrees. His activities in Philadelphia included teaching music. Green put out an album under his own name, This One's for You after about a half a century in the music business.