Live at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC

Lots of new GREENSTEIN MUSIC coming your way this year! Be on the lookout for Vol 2, 3, and 4 on Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records

Posted by Jonathan Greenstein on Saturday, May 6, 2017

In many ways I see myself as a storyteller. Each one of these melodies is like a little tale, a way for me to take all these feelings, arrange them as sound in time, and present them to you in a song. It’s me, opening up to you, sharing what I feel and how I understand the world, and hopefully giving what you feel a name, a sound, a melody.


Like a good story, I wanted it to have enough space for you to use your imagination to make this music your own. These songs are really for you as much as they are for me. And the core of the song is the melody. That’s the main thing for me as an artist. People like to look down on Miles Davis, saying he plays the melodies wrong, or think Monk’s phrasing is funny, that Duke’s writing is corny, Wayne’s melodies are too abstract. That’s all wrong. The reason we connect with these artists on such a deep level is the gift of melody. If I can give you a melody, a song, it’s like I’ve given life to a dream. Neil Gaiman wrote that the right song can turn an emperor into a laughingstock, can bring down dynasties – and he’s right. I see myself as a singer and melody is paramount for me. Having facility is nice, but can I really tell you a story or sing you a song – that’s how I want to connect.

Bittersweet Jelly

By: Vol 2

I think I’m part of a generation that has already lived with Jazz music and other styles being fully connected – I’ve found a lot of Ahmad Jamal’s music through Hip Hop records and actually learnt about Radiohead through Brad Mehldau. That made me interested in connecting all these styles together in my own music. It’s almost like making Jazz that’s sample ready, that can be played between to a standing crowd. On top of that, I’m interested in the question of what does it mean to be an Israeli Jazz musician, an immigrant to Jazz culture. This is a big thing to me, trying to understand my own cosmopolitan worldview and my place as a new Israeli Jazz artist. And I’m also interested in what does it mean to be playing instrumental music in 2017 – can we connect to what’s on the radio? Should we?



Playing Jazz music over trap beats or using power chords is awesome, but it doesn’t really transcends each style, they just co-exist, it’s just a mixture. I wanted to see if I can find where all these styles live together, and create a compound, something new that is created from combining all the parts. It’s similar to how it’s super trendy to drench the music in effects, pedals, and these big low snares – all these sound that come from elsewhere – and bring Jazz to them. That’s cool too, but I wanted to see if I can bring the intensity and the environment those tools allow you into an acoustic setting – Can I do that with a clean saxophone sound, with a Jazz sized drum kit, with an upright bass? Can I have the audience standing up, moving, dancing even?



Is it new? I’m not sure, but It’s definitely me.

Grey Skies From ATL To A Broken Israeli Heart

By: Vol 3

I was listening to old recordings of Duke Ellington from 1926 and being amazed at how much information he had in each song. How many beautiful things were happening in less than 4 minutes. Today, with length no longer being a production problem, you have these Jazz records with everyone taking a long solo and then you just repeat the theme and each track is like 9 minutes long. I wanted to create something whole, a full journey, each song having it’s own form, making a complete statement, and leaving the listener wanting more. Can I do that in 4 minutes?


That became a big thing for me, because that also enables me to really make the live show special as we get to elaborate on a statement that was concise enough on the record to make people bring it into their life. Having these short stories on separate, shorter EPs on a smaller, indie label, allows me to get the music out there faster. It also made me think, can we disrupt the Jazz record cycle and do this differently? Can we do this independently and in a different way from what is expected?Hopefully it gives it a sense of urgency, a demand to be listened to. in Gm, Part 3 (Triumph)

By: Vol 4

I’m starting to believe that you go on stage either to be loved by an audience, or to love the audience. I want to love everybody. These songs are my way of saying, this is who I am and this is how I feel about life, hope it inspires you. They are also a way for me to say – I see you, I understand how you feel and we are in this together. And there’s something special in Jazz music in that we have to come together and do this in real time. It’s really about creating something, with an audience, improvised in the moment. That’s why we recorded the band together in one room with no headphone and no separation and why we kept some of the studio noises. So you really feel how in the moment this all is, how human it is. That realness and vulnerability doesn’t happen as easily in other types of music, and that really turns me on. That really is a big part of the allure of Jazz music for me. Another big thing is the human challenge – the idea that you have to be someone, you have to be on a journey to have character, to be yourself. It’s not about being an anonymous part of a band, and it’s not about repeating other people’s statement. You have to bring something made by you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you definitely should have your own voice and your own style. And with this band and these stories, It’s the first time I feel like I really do.

Jonathan Greenstein – Sax, Keyboard ; Michael King – Piano, Keyboard
Takeshi Ohbayashi – Piano, Keyboard
Joshua Crumbly – Bass
Jonathan Pinson – Drums

Mix – Vishal Nayak, Black Lodge Studios
Mastering – Jeremy Loucas, Sear Sound
Art – Gil Chen

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records (c) 2017