Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Pianist and composer David Benoit has something to say. It's clear form his multii-dimensional body of work across three-and-a-half decades, and his deep jazz roots that still allow room fro forays into classical, Latin, pop, world music and a range of other sounds. The connections and associations he has made along the way have resulted in a fascinating and ongoing interplay between music, musicians, and musical philosophies. Simply put, Benoit is engaged in a conversation - a dynamic and ongoing act of communication that results in a sound that's consistently engaging and entertaining.
Benoit takes the discussion to a new level of creative exchange on Conversation, his new album set for release on May 29, 2012, on Heads Up Interantional, a division of concord Music Group, Benoit gets assistance along the way from musicians representing a broad cross section of styles: electric guitarist jess Golub, acoustic guitarist Pat Kelley, guitarist David Pack (Ambrosia), flutist Tim Weisberg, classical pianist Robert Theis and a cadre of young classical players who are fearless about taking their music to less traditional and more adventurous and exploratory places.
Smooth Jazz Therapy
With a virtuosity that transcends genres, that most sophisticated of pianists David Benoit is again pushing the boundaries of his musical talents with his latest CD 'Conversation'. This multi dimensional body of work, whilst including input from Jeff Golub, David Pack, flautist Tim Weisberg and acoustic guitarist Pat Kelly, facilitates forays into classical, Latin, Pop and world music that throughout finds Benoit completely in command. In fact the publicity that supports the project describes it as being indicative of where, as a composer, Benoit currently is. That being the case, there little doubt this is a very good place to be.
Smooth Jazz Now
For three-and-a-half decades, Benoit has easily proven that Classical, Latin, Pop and Jazz are a necessary part of a musician's palette. This is an artist who has innate curiosity and love for all music. I doubt that Benoit separates his CD collection via genre.
David Benoit is a musical enigma. One of the original smooth jazz, GRP, contemporary mainstays that has developed into one of the more original and compelling jazz pianists and composers of our time. While the actual street date for Conversation is just a little over a month away there are some things simply too good to wait on. If you also factor in pre-ordering new releases in the day of the digital download it is advantageous to plan on how to spend your entertainment dollar.
Audio Mixer: Clark Germain.
Recording information: Artsong Music Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Ocean Way Studios; Pack's Place, Ladera Ranch, CA; Steinway Hall, New York, NY; Toys In The Attic, Watermill, NY; WonderWorld Studio, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Lori Stoll.
Leaving behind the downtempo electronic approach of 2010's Earthglow, pianist David Benoit returns to a more traditional contemporary jazz vibe on 2012's Conversation. Once again working with producer Clark Germain, Benoit has put together a more organic, swinging sound this time around. To these ends, we get the R&B-infused Latin number "Feelin' It" as well as Benoit's take on the Vince Guaraldi-sounding theme to the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid featuring guitarist Jeff Golub. Similarly engaging are such cuts as the roiling spy-movie funk of "Q's Motif" and the jazz-funk of "Let's Get Ready" with saxophonist David Sills. One of the main draws here, of course, is the title track composition that Benoit culled from the last movement of his suite "Music for Two Trios." The track showcases a classical trio featuring pianist Robert Theis and a jazz organ trio led by Benoit trading sections and going head to head on this cinematic and rambling "conversation" piece. ~ Matt Collar
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