Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Since 1977, David Benoit's expansive career as a contemporary jazz pianist has included over 30 solo recordings. His 1980s releases, This Side Up, Freedom at Midnight and the GRAMMY-nominated Every Step of the Way, are considered influential genre classics. His ever-expanding slate of orchestral music endeavors include the conducting of such eminent orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphonies of London, Nuremberg, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Jose. When not in the spotlight, Benoit has played sideman to numerous performers, accompanying and collaborating with the likes of Patti Austin, The Rippingtons, Dave Koz and, most recently, David Pack.
Among his other accolades, Benoit has received GRAMMY nominations for Best Instrumental Composition (for "Dad's Room, " from 1999's Professional Dreamer) and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance (for the GRP All-Star Big Band). Single "Feelin' it," off 2012's Conversations, peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Songs chart, while "Beat Street, " off 2006's Full Circle, stayed on the Radio & Records charts for an entire year, hitting the number one spot. Benoit has also drawn critical acclaim over the years for his film work, composing several scores, including for the Sally Field-produced The Christmas Tree and for The Stars Fell on Henrietta, produced by Clint Eastwood.
Over the course of his career, Benoit has also formed a strong association with the famed Peanuts empire. Aside from recording several tributes to Vince Guaraldi and to the music of Peanuts - including the two chart topping albums, Here's To You, Charlie Brown: Fifty Great Years and the all-star tribute, 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas - Benoit has also had the honor of composing new music for more recent Peanuts TV specials on CBS.
The David Benoit Collection focuses on the pianist's time with Peak Records and the Heads Up label. Selections include hit singles "Beat Street" and "Feelin' it"; downtempo, electronica-inspired tracks "Will's Chill" and "Straightaway" from Benoit's diverse Earthglow; an excerpt from Benoit's 2004 collaboration with guitarist Russ Freeman; "Rollerblading" from Jazz For Peanuts; and several covers from Benoit's 2008 album Heroes, which pays homage to classic songs by his musical idols.
Audio Mixer: Clark Germain .
The David Benoit Collection brings together tracks off the smooth jazz artist's albums for Concord/Heads Up. Included are cuts off such albums as 2006's Full Circle, 2008's Heroes, 2010's Earthglow, and 2012's Conversation. These are laid-back, lightly funky recordings that run the gamut from instrumental R&B to classical, jazz, and Latin-infused sounds. ~ Matt Collar