Listen to Green Street and you’ll see what Stein means. There’s everything you’d expect on an organ-jazz disc: a shuffle blues, a boogaloo, Latin rhythms, a ballad, the Ellington standard “Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me,” and Stein’s own oughtta-be-standard ballad “Our Love Will See Us Through.” The writing and playing make the difference. Clark gets everything out of the B-3, with the whining harmonies of its draw bars and the whoosh of its Leslie speaker, but he also knows how to lay out, lifting Stein’s solos with nothing but the subsonic oomph of his bass pedals. And the grooves he locks into with Hurst are deathless. Stein, avoiding volume and effects, generates maximum propulsion with minimal force — in his attack and release of the beat, in his chords, in his choice of notes. Another plus: the presence of soul-jazz legend David “Fathead” Newman on saxophones and flute. The result is anything but generic: a jazz ensemble, responding in the moment rather than showing off with pre-rehearsed licks.
Stein — who’s been at Berklee, first as student and then a teacher, since 1980 — has since moved on to other styles, but he celebrates the re-release of Green Street with Clark, Brazilian drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario, and saxophonist Bill Thompson at Scullers this Wednesday.
JOHN STEIN | Scullers, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | November 14 | 617.562.4111 | MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRA | Berklee Performance Center 136 Mass Ave, Boston | November 17 at 8 pm | $30-$48 | 617.482. 6611
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