Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

May/June 2015: Esperanza Spalding

Jimmy Greene: Beautiful Life

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In 2013, I attended the memorial service for Ana Márquez-Greene. An image I’ll never forget is Jimmy Greene towering at the front of the congregation, hands outstretched in brokenness before God. What other response is possible in the midst of such an unfathomable tragedy?

Two years later, Jimmy has crafted another response, his latest album Beautiful Life. With performances by Kenny Barron, Pat Metheny, Kurt Elling and others, it’s a loving portrait of Ana and a powerful testimony of the Greene family’s faith in Jesus Christ.

I’ve been touring with Beautiful Life since its release. After a recent show, Jimmy posted the following lines on his Facebook page: “there are nights like tonight—when a song is handled so expertly, creatively and lovingly by the musicians in the moment that there is a third entity in the air, apart from the fixed composition and its interpretation during performance. Tonight when we played my song “Ana’s Way”…something in the harmony or the ebb and flow of the rhythm section breathing life into the groove made that third entity so tangible for me… it was Ana.”

What Jimmy describes is the spiritual connection that musicians eternally strive for, and what you can hope to hear on June 18 when the quartet plays at Maw’s. We are looking forward to sharing this very special music with Winnipeg audiences.

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