Rodney Green Trio Brings Smooth Jazz Sounds

By Journalist Ms. Jones

MARLBORO – The Rodney Green Trio came all the way from New York City to perform at the Falcon on Sunday, January 21. The trio consisted of Ben Rice on piano, Dor Samoha on bass, and Rodney Green on drums.

“It’s been about fifteen years or so since I’ve been up here. I didn’t even know he [owner of the Falcon, Tony Falco] moved places. I thought I was going to the wrong place,” said Green.
Green has been playing drums since the age of three, gigging at age fourteen, and when he was sixteen -years-old, he began playing the drums at Chez LaBelle, Patti LaBelle’s theatre club in Philadelphia.

Green has played domestically and abroad and is a seasoned professional. He switched from drumsticks to brushes with ease to play more softly.

“I always try to emulate tap dancers when I’m playing with brushes, come up with strokes that fit the theme of what’s going on… It’s the one time the drummer can play legato,” said Green.

The Francois Moutin + Kavita Shah Duo opened for The Rodney Green Trio at the Falcon.

Green recorded an album “Live at Smalls” in 2012 at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City and released a new album on September 1, 2017 titled “Live at Jazzhus Montmartre” in Copenhagen.

“I’m very happy with the album. It features a great vibraphonist named Warren Wolf… David Wong played bass… I think about records or anything I do as just… taking a picture. That’s what it was that day… It was a good day,” said Green.

Green believes in helping out the younger generation. He teaches drums at Temple University and also plays with newer musicians.

“I started the jam session. I saw that guys needed some people to play with. It’s hard to get from jazz student to jazz master without a middle ground… The middle part is… you work on stuff. You make mistakes. You get feedback from someone who you trust. It’s like apprenticeship,” said Green.

The Francois Moutin + Kavita Shah Duo opened the show. Shah sang while Moutin played the bass. They are doing a CD Release Tour for their new CD, “Interplay” which comes out on February 16.

“This project is kind of about getting back to the bare essentials… embracing the vulnerabilities within us and the kind of exposure that is created only when we’re playing with the bass and the voice without drums and piano, and all these other instruments. It kind of gives us the opportunity to go deeper into ourselves… find the raw emotions in the songs, and express them fully… It’s a very challenging format to play in bass and voice. It’s very rarely done,” said Shah who described their genre as Naked Jazz. “We’re very much exposed.”

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