PITTSFIELD, Mass. — “A Bissel Rhythm,” the latest CD by composer and clarinetist Paul Green and his band Two Worlds has been named one of the best jazz albums of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune. Released earlier this year by Big Round Records/PARMA Recordings, the album features Green’s original compositions and marks the group’s second recorded exploration into the fusion of jazz and Jewish music.
“Jazz and Jewish music share a long and beautiful history, which clarinetist-composer Green traced on an earlier album, ‘Music Coming Together,’” the Tribune’s Howard Reich wrote in a roundup of the year’s top ten jazz albums. “This time, rather than record songs reflecting both idioms, Green has written original compositions that give him and his colleague’s freer reign in which to experiment. The music—sometimes joyous, sometimes mournful—attests to these artists’ conversance with two alluring musical languages.”
Green’s musical studies began at a young age. He took up the clarinet in fourth grade and was soon studying with noted clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff. At 13, he was selected by Leonard Bernstein to play in the conductor’s televised Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. He earned a BA in Music Theory and Composition from Yale University and an MS in Clarinet Performance from the Juilliard School. After taking a break to earn a law degree and pursue a career as an attorney, he returned to music, and subsequently earned an MA in Jazz Performance from Florida International University in 2009.
Green says his love for jazz and Jewish music comes from his father, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home and loved both Jewish music (Green’s grandfather was a cantor) and jazz.
“I believe that there are expressive commonalities between different music genres. Jazz and klezmer music differ, to be sure, but each is highly emotive—joy, sorrow and fervent passion are common to both,” Green said.
Green and Two Worlds maintain an active performance schedule at venues throughout the Berkshires and Hudson Valley. Green, who continues to play classical as well as jazz-klezmer fusion, also shares his love of music through teaching and is currently on the faculty of Williams College, Skidmore College, SUNY Schenectady, and the Berkshire Music School.
For more information: paulgreenmusic.com.