Piano fans will be happy to know that there is a new release
on the horizon from one of their favorite artists, David Benoit.
This fan favorite comes to us with eleven new tracks that are
sure to make them hit the replay button several times as they
listen. Given inspiration by the NASA photo of our home planet
that graces the cover as well as some time away in the mountains
near Saratoga California, this release has much to offer smooth
jazz fans for quite a while.
Part of that inspiration in the mountains resulted in the opening
number called “Botswana Bossa Nova.” It kicks everything
off with a good pace as it charges through the opening chorus,
driven by a back beat that keeps it coming. There’s an infectious
riff throughout that is countered by a few measures of whimsical
relief. This is a great way to start off. The next number was
inspired by the same mountains. “Wills Chill” has
that chill vibe to it. Says Benoit, “I really loved the
vibe of “Wills Chill.” When I started I started recording,
I wanted the whole album to have that edgy, chill sound with long
loops and lots of samples, with a little piano in the mix.” Add
a little touch of sax towards the end, and you’ve got another
favorite. “Unbelievable” brings back Benoit’s
famous five note intro into a heavily chorded hook that fans have
come to love over the years.You will be pleased to hear Rick Braun
on muted trumpet as well. I really like “Easy Day” for
the simple reason that I just get it. I feel what he’s trying
to do here while keeping things simple while never boring the
listener with the same paths taken earlier. It makes you think
of that one day you rarely get when you have no plans, wear no
watch, and just take it easy.
“New Creation” begins fairly complicated and continues
to build as it goes along. I like the way it drives, with a bass
beat that is ever present. The chorus builds to a resounding ending.
David gears up the Fender Rhodes for some retro sounds that was
originally the title track. The title track takes a step back
and has more of a simple approach. The piano here is more acoustic
for the most part, with stand up bass to give it that old club
feel. The next tune continues that same club feel as the previous. “Sneaky
As A Cat” adds some playful flute flair from Tim Weisberg
that makes it fun to listen to. Benoit is in full force here as
he shows off what’s made him such a fine pianist for so
long. “Brownie’s Gone” will be one that long
time fans will flock to. It begins in the upper register and gives
way to some very nice chorded progressions that move at a slow
pace while keeping everyone entertained. The finale has to be
one of my favorites. “Freedom at Midnight (The Schroeder
Variations) incorporates David’s favorite from 1987 along
with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” It’s
arranged as if Shroeder of Peanuts were playing it. I know you’re
going to like it.
Depending on if you are a new fan or an old, I believe you will
like this offering from this ever popular musician. He covers
a lot of bases here with some old school as well as a little chill.
The mix is a nice blend of uptempo foot tappers as well as a couple
introspective thinkers. Be sure to check out the new release from
David Benoit soon.