Critically acclaimed tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene will release a new CD, Mission Statement, on April 7 on Sunnyside/Razdaz Recordz, home to such eclectic artists as Sam Barsh and Amos Hoffman. Razdaz founder, bassist Avishai Cohen, in whose band Greene played during the nineties, says, “Jimmy is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians in the scene today. He continues the legacy of such greats as John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. I’m a fan.”
Mission Statement features Greene’s working band of Xavier Davis (keyboards), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums) – a stellar quartet who have performed together since 2002, and who first recorded with Greene on his 2006 Criss Cross release, True Life Stories. Guitarist Lage Lund is featured throughout, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris guests on one track, the spirited “Revelation.” “Playing with Stefon is a joy. His creative energy, attention to detail, and soulfulness are inspirational, to say the least. He sounds great in any context,” enthused Greene.
Greene’s talents as a composer have been acknowledged by Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program (which commissioned Greene’s Overcomer's suite); by his winning the prestigious ASCAP / IAJE Commission in honor of Ornette Coleman (resulting in the piece, Anthem of Hope;) and by his being awarded a 2005 Artist Fellowship in Music Composition by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Those talents are strongly displayed on Mission Statement, which includes nine original compositions, as well as Greene’s arrangement of Harry Smith’s inspirational “Give Thanks.”
An intensely personal undertaking, Mission Statement musically conveys a sense of who Jimmy Greene is as a man and as an artist. “It deals with the most precious things in my life: love, faith, family, relationships, childhood and dreams,” explains Greene in his liner notes. “Although much is happening musically in many of these tunes, in them, the melodies, themes and improvisational flow seem to express, in a simple way, the joys, the struggles, curiosities and discoveries personal to my life so far.” - AllAboutJazz