Album Review — “A Bissel Rhythm”

REVIEW: A Bissel Rhythm

No, it’s not an experimental set paying tribute to a vacuum cleaner. With a feeling that Mickey Katz could jump out at any time and start singing “Essen” or that this could turn up in a movie soundtrack under a Jewish wedding or party scene, clarinetist Green continues his Jewish/jazz fusion with moves that frequently move beyond the pale, but not too far. Sprightly and spirited, this is a fine modern take on another oppressed people cutting loose and having a good time. Take that ya Czar, you!

—Chris Spector, Midwest Record, 2/13/19

Common Ground: A Clinton Church Restoration Benefit, June 9

Paul Green and Wanda Houston

Common Ground: A celebration of Jazz & Jewish Music with Wanda Houston & Paul Green

Renowned jazz singer Wanda Houston and clarinetist Paul Green will present a program that fuses jazz and Jewish music and reflects the longstanding fellowship between the African American and Jewish communities. The concert is a benefit for Clinton Church Restoration, which is restoring and repurposing the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in downtown Great Barrington as an African American heritage site, visitor center and community space. A reception will follow the program.

Date: Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 7pm
Location: Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road, Great Barrington
Cost: Tickets are $25 each (more if you can, less if you can’t)
Contact: For more information, visit Clinton Church Restoration or email admin@clintonchurchrestoration.org.

CD Release Party, May 5

Paul Green and his band, Two Worlds, invites the community to a CD release party for “A Bissel Rhythm,” Green’s second Jewish-Jazz fusion album.

A virtuoso clarinetist equally adept at classical, jazz and klezmer genres, Green has gone beyond arranging existing tunes, as he did in his first album, “Music Coming Together.” Now, he is composer as well as arranger as he continues to explore, in his own compositions, the relationships between jazz and klezmer music.

At the concert, CDs will be available for purchase and there will be a champagne reception to follow. A free will donation at the door will benefit the Berkshires Music School.

Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 4pm
Taft Recital Hall at the Berkshire Music School, 30 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA

View the event on Facebook >>

New Album Now Available — “A Bissel Rhythm”

My new album is now available — my second recorded exploration into the fusion between jazz and Jewish music. Find it on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube!

Paul Green - A Bissel Rhythm album_back

From the Big Round Records website:

A BISSEL RHYTHM is composer and clarinetist Paul Green’s PARMA Recordings debut, although it marks his second recorded exploration into the fusion between jazz and Jewish music. A performance at Merkin Concert Hall resulted in the New York Times extolling his talents: “Like a cobra intent on doing some charming of its own, the clarinetist Paul Green weaved, darted and hovered over his instrument…conjuring gorgeous sounds.”

Green opens the album with the title track, A Bissel Rhythm, a reworking of the George Gershwin standard, “I Got Rhythm.” Already interpreted by such astounding jazz players as Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, Green turns the song into a Jewish expression by using traditional Hebrew scales, placing it in a minor Jewish-sounding key, and giving it a joyful, freilach (merry) fast tempo. That same joyful feeling is expressed in My Own Freilach, which should be familiar to anyone who has ever attended a Jewish wedding or bar mitzvah. Here, it is performed at near breakneck speed, leaving it to the players to see who can maintain the pace, whether they’re playing the tune as written or improvising their own licks.

With Doina and Ramble, the composer reimagines the funeral traditions of New Orleans, by placing the Doina, a klezmer form, in the context of an imagined New Orleans funeral. In this tradition, the slow funeral song would be followed by a joyful performance, which Green depicts in his piece Ramble. The Jewish March hearkens back to the time when Jewish musicians in Russia were often prohibited from playing loud instruments. When those musicians arrived in America, they let loose with drums, wind, and brass instruments. The Jewish March is a recreation of an early 20th century piece, complete with drum rolls – courtesy of Peter Sweeney – and plenty of loud, exuberant playing. This energy and spirit permeates the album as a whole, making for an experience that is as impressive as it is enjoyable to hear.

Release Date: February 8th, 2019