From the Greenhouse
FROM THE GREENHOUSE is the debut album of Chris Neville, a dynamic keyboard artist who has attracted much attention through his recent work with Benny Carter and other jazz greats. 'I was immediately taken with his authority and command of the keyboard,' recalls Carter, who has used Neville on several recent recordings. The classically trained pianist, who was born in Boston in 1955, was something of a child prodigy, having enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music at six. He later studied at Berklee and the University of Maine-Augusta. Neville has been a favorite of jazz audiences in the New England area, leading his own groups and accompanying such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Art Farmer, and Buddy DeFranco. Neville's style reflects his primary influences, Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock, and Bill Evans, as well as his own fertile imagination. As Benny Carter notes, 'He has fresh ideas and doesn't fall back on the same old cliches and riffs.' FROM THE GREENHOUSE highlights talents of Chris Neville in solo, duo, and trio settings, and ends with three live performances featuring Chris in the company of 'The King' himself: Benny Carter. Neville is joined by John Lockwood, one of the most sought after bass players on the contemporary scene, and the late master percussionist Alan Dawson. In addition to several standards and pieces by Benny Carter, this album also introduces four of Neville's own compositions. Carter notes that 'unlike so many so-called 'originals,' his pieces have structure and attractive melodic content.' Over the years, Benny Carter has proven to be an astute judge of musical talent. We're confident that you'll share his enthusiasm for this outstanding player. CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR 'FROM THE GREENHOUSE' Neville shows us from start to finish that he is one very capable player, filled with musical inventiveness and logic. ...His playing tends to be right on the edge at times, often taking us to unexpected places. And it always has a sparkling clarity that comes from years of classical studies. -- Ken Franckling, UPI ...an extremely impressive debut... As a leader Neville exhibits a loving but unslavish debt to bop pianists such as Bud Powell and Bill Evans. He also plays with good humor and relaxed swing... His choice of 'Like Someone in Love' for the one standard is a good one--it's an excellent showcase for his complex but always smooth improvisatory style. And he can do all of this about as fast as any young pianist today. [On 'Mood Indigo'] Neville hits a tough, foot-stomping groove that Duke himself would have loved. -- Krin Gabbard, Cadence ...the talented Berklee and University of Maine-schooled pianist surrounds himself with the superb Boston rhythm section of Alan Dawson and John Lockwood, and features that phenomenal walking encyclopedia of jazz history, Benny Carter... Yet this remains Neville's show, and the album showcases this consistently interesting soloist in duo, trio, and quartet settings. ...programs a nice mix of standards and originals... The three tracks featuring Carter...are a joy... From the Greenhouse has much to recommend it. -- Robert Gaspar, Jazz Radio News The apparently ageless elder statesman of jazz, Benny Carter, has a long track record of pushing young talent, from Teddy Wilson back in 1933 through Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Max Roach. Here's one of his more recent proteges, the very talented Chris Neville... This is highly professional and enjoyable stuff... [Neville] shows off all his talents as lyrical balladeer, punchy bop stylist and composer... -- John Chadwick, Jazz Journal International.