The 51st Most Influential African-American in Evanston

By Mark A. Moore, Senior Executive Smooth Jazz Entertainment LLC.

William Kirk is the talented keyboardist and band leader of the William Kirk Enterprise. He is precocious and provocative; playing a brand of music I like to call a “perfect mutation of pop culture funk”. The perennial showman, Kirk dazzled the audience with his dramatic antics and Broadway singing style.  With Myron Cherry on drums and Tim Seisser on base, The William Kirk Enterprise is a funky and eclectic progression of pop culture music and performance arts.  They were a welcome opening act that provided an interesting contrast to the main event.

This brings us to the memorable introduction provided by Mr. Kirk himself.  William decided to inform the audience that Chris Greene was a man of influence—in fact he was the 51st most influential African American in Evanston; a most dubious honor, one that had Chris, the band and the audience lamenting in laughter.  This was a brilliant and witty opening for an artist who is worthy of such a description.

The Chris Greene Quartet is comprised of Damian Espinoza on piano, Mark Piane on bass, Steve Corley on drums and Chris Greene on tenor and soprano saxophone.  I would describe them as a polished and very accomplished jazz group that is not afraid to push boundaries or explore new ideas.   Chris plays smoothly with a clean and clear sound worthy of the seemingly endless comparisons to Sonny Rollins. Steve Corley was particularly meticulous, moving in and out of time with precision and the utmost control.  Subtlety was a reoccurring theme throughout the performance.  You had to listen carefully to fully appreciate the nuances of each composition. This group likes to manipulate the meter and time of their pieces; swinging listeners on a pendulum back and forth.  Some songs had elements of Latin rhythms and melodies, while at other times, the compositions sat firmly in traditional concert jazz forms.  Beautifully original, soft yet sweeping, The Chris Greene Quartet had the audience firmly in their possession. It was an outstanding performance.

All members of the audience will receive a free 3 song CD courtesy of the band.  The legendary Joe Tortorici recorded the entire performance.  Stay tuned for the DVD in the near future!  For more information on The Chris Greene Quartet check out chrisgreenejazz.com.

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