February 28, 2024

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CD review: Jimmy Greene – While Looking Up 2020: Video, CD cover

The deluge of political divisiveness, horrific violence and hateful rhetoric that seem to have polluted our lives on a daily basis over the last few years have left many people across the country and around the world feeling angry, frustrated and hopeless.

It would be more than understandable if that feeling was even more intense for Jimmy Greene, for whom the flood of outrageous headlines and social media missives play out against the backdrop of personal tragedy. Greene refuses to succumb to the negativity, however. On his heartfelt new album, While Looking Up, the saxophonist was guided by the inspirational words of his pastor: “If I’m not able to find strength or peace by looking inward,” he said, “or if I’m not able to do it by looking outward to my immediate surroundings, I have to look upward.” “The whole idea of While Looking Up is indicative of the times we’re in now,” Greene said. “I can think about my personal journey through our family’s tragedy, and I can also look outside of myself and see the state we’re in, constantly bombarded with the chaos that’s become normalized in our society and our country. In both instances, it’s easy to walk away feeling disillusioned and, in many ways, hopeless. But I’m always reminded to look upward.”

01. So in Love (7:26)
02. No Words (7:28)
03. Always There (5:06)
04. April 4th (6:31)
05. Good Morning Heartache (7:40)
06. Overreaction (6:41)
07. Steadfast (5:35)
08. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) (7:27)
09. While Looking Up (6:59)
10. Simple Prayer (7:11)

Jimmy Greene – soprano saxophone (1, 4, 7); tenor saxophone (2, 3, 5, 6, 8-10); flute, clarinet, bass clarinet (4)
Aaron Goldberg – piano (1, 3, 4, 6-10); Fender Rhodes electric piano (2)
Stefon Harris – marimba (3); vibraphone (4)
Lage Lund – guitar (1-4, 6-9)
Reuben Rogers – bass (all tracks)
Kendrick Scott – drums (all tracks)

Saxophonist Jimmy Greene Expands Palette On Spiritually Empathetic ...

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