Archive for January 14th, 2022

David Benoit – A Midnight Rendezvous

AMidnightRendezvousHave you ever met an artist whose craft is merely an extension of who they are? The iconic pianist, composer, arranger, producer, film and TV scorer David Benoit, embodies this archetype. He is as cool, measured, engaging, soulful and sophisticated as one of his mellifluous solos in a flight of fancy. A Founding Father of Contemporary Jazz, rooted in the tradition of Dave Brubeck and Bill Evans, David Benoit started playing the piano as a child and has never looked back. “As long as I’m alive and well,” declares the Grammy nominated pianist, “I hope to write and perform as long as possible.” Unbound by categories and rules, the trailblazer has built an enviable four-decade career drawing inspiration from his vast influences which have included jazz, comics, film, Broadway, symphonies and more. From endearing fans with his magical soundtracks for the Peanuts television movies, to garnering over 20 chart-topping radio hits and scoring music for films produced by Clint Eastwood and Sally Field and soap opera themes like “All My Children,” David Benoit IS music.

His free-spirited approach has allowed him to collaborate with such diverse artists as The Rippingtons, Faith Hill, David Sanborn and CeCe Winans, among numerous others. Benoit, who leads his own Pacific Vision Youth Symphony (the orchestra he founded in 2001) and who has collaborated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Philippine Philharmonic, among others, fulfills a long-time dream on his new and highly anticipated new recording, A Midnight Rendezvous (February 18, 2022). Benoit records for the first time with a big band under his own leadership and is joined by numerous special guests including label-mates pianist Jeff Lorber and saxophonist Eric Marienthal. “The idea began when I was an artist in residence in Saratoga, CA and I was looking for something unique to do,” reflects Benoit who hosts the morning show on KKJZ in Long Beach, CA. “I decided to write a big band arrangement for my ‘Cabin Fever’ on the record. I initially started arranging on my computer but the greatest thrill was hearing the playback with the real players in the big band when the project progressed. Wow! It was one of the most exciting sessions I’ve done in many years.”

A Midnight Rendezvous is a stellar ten-track foray into known and uncharted territory. In addition to Benoit’s first recording as a leader with a big band, he also reinvents Maren Morris’ smash hit “The Bones,” transports us to a California desert with Jeff Lorber, records for the first time with prolific bassist Roberto Valley (Peter White, Patti Austin, Boney James, Euge Groove, Kirk Whalum) and does a dazzling solo take on a Dave Koz gem. Continue reading