Posts Tagged ‘ David Benoit ’

David Benoit and Jane Monheit – 2 in Love

Two Grammy nominees come together for an experience in cool music and romance. David Benoit and Jane Monheit team up for 2 in Love (Concord Records, 2015).

This is Benoit’s first recording with a vocalist. Over the years, he has employed guest vocalists to contribute a token song. Among them are David Pack of the rock group Ambrosia, pop singer Jennifer Warnes and jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves. However, 2 in Love is Benoit’s first time giving a vocalist equal billing. Monheit appears on all but two songs.

The lineup is broken into three configurations. On five songs, Benoit plays piano and synthesizer, accompanied by Monheit; Pat Kelly, acoustic and electric guitar; David Hughes, upright and electric bass; Jamey Tate, drums; and Lauren Kosty, percussion. For three songs, it’s Benoit, piano; Monheit; John Clayton, bass; Clayton Cameron, drums; Michelle Suh, violin; Cathi Biagini, cello; and Darryl Tanikawa, contractor. On “Love in Hyde Park,” it’s Benoit, piano; David Hughes, acoustic bass; Tate; and Tim Weisberg, alto flute and C flute. And as he usually does, Benoit goes solo on the finale.

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David Benoit – 2 In Love

2 In LoveFor three decades, the GRAMMY®-nominated pianist/composer/ arranger David Benoit has reigned supreme as one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz. But, like an actor who has been known primarily for one role, he wanted to show other dimensions of his artistry, influenced by Stephen Sondheim, Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin and Leonard Bernstein.

“I’ve done records where I had a token vocal tune, all the way back to my first album,” Benoit says. “But I never did an entire record [with vocals]. So the thought here was to do something really different.”

The result is Benoit’s thirty-fifth recording as a leader and his first with a vocalist. 2 In Love, set for release on June 16, 2015 via Concord Records, features Jane Monheit, the GRAMMY®-nominated, cool-toned chanteuse from New York, who burst on the scene in 1998 as the first runner-up in the Thelonious Monk International Vocalist Competition. (International release dates may vary) Continue reading

David Benoit – Conversation

Some people credit David Benoit with being a pioneer of smooth jazz. He was making a name for himself in the format before it was established as a format. But that’s not an accurate picture. The pianist and composer is all about making good music. And a glance at his repertoire reveals straight jazz, Latin, Brazilian, pop, orchestral and other styles.

Conversation (Heads Up, 2012) is Benoit’s personal statement: “I’m not pandering to radio. I’m just doing what I love to do, and that’s what’s been so much fun about it.”

Longtime friend and collaborator David Pack co-wrote the opening track, “Napa Crossroads Overture.” As its name implies, this song captures the essence of Benoit. At once, it’s pop, it’s light jazz, it’s cinematic. Benoit plays piano, keyboards and conducts the orchestra. Pack plays guitar and adds orchestrations. A little depth is provided by Pat Kelley on acoustic guitar, David Hughes on electric bass, Jamey Tate on drums and Brad Dutz on percussion.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2012

In search of the beautiful moments of life there are always opportunities to hold it for a short time. One of those moments was the Smooth Jazz Festival, which first took place in Sa Coma, on the beautiful east coast of the Spanish island Mallorca. The exclusive ambience of the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa, a 5-star hotel was the awesome venue of this remarkable event.

Despite the not to be underestimated costs by air travel, hotel stay and tickets a surprisingly large number of smooth jazz fans participated in this highlight at this breathtaking place. All brought with them a good mood because they had the occasion to see many friends from last year. With world-class artists such as Uné, David Benoit, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine and Warren Hill did nothing to be desired.

Whom alone the appearance of the artist was not enough, could deepen the contact in intensive talks to his idol. Even the great weather, excellent food and fine drinks rounded out the well-being. The program of Friday night opened the agile saxophonist Eric Darius with Settin’ In Off from his album On A Mission (2010). For photographers, it was a difficult task to keep him in the picture, because not only during this piece, but throughout the entire performance, he found himself in motion.

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David Benoit – Conversation

To call David Benoit a grand seigneur of smooth jazz, would be a bit too short. Sure, this pianist is well-known as interpret of several prominent Charlie Brown related projects (including Here’s To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years and the star-studded 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas).

Nevertheless musical pigeonholing is hated him. David states: “When I started making records, I never conformed to a specific format. Mostly my records were just me writing and playing my own music, directly from my heart. I’ve come back to that on this record, but using some orchestral colors this time. As a composer, I’ve stretched a bit, and this really represents where I am right now as a pianist, as a musician, as a composer. It’s a very good snapshot for people who have been following me for a while. This is where I am right now. I’m not pandering to radio. I’m just doing what I love to do, and that’s what’s been so much fun about it.”

Indeed is life too colorful, to reduce oneself on one format. Consequently David’s new album Conversation (2012) presents a great bouquet of different styles, touching David’s musical ideas.

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David Benoit – Conversation

Pianist/composer David Benoit has something to say. It’s clear from his multi-dimensional body of work across three-and-a-half decades, and his deep jazz roots that still allow room for 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 musics, 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, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group.

Benoit gets assistance along the way from musicians representing a broad cross section of styles: electric guitarist Jeff Golub, acoustic guitarist Pat Kelley, guitarist David Pack, 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.

Source: Concord Music Group

Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2010

The third Annual German Smooth Jazz Festival took place in the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. A venue of timeless beauty build in the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany. It is the work of famous architect Jean Keller, who constructed the building in 1886. The dreamy impression of this building is captured in the title photo, which was made last year by Andreas Lutz (Fotostudio Xanderhof).

Augsburg is the home town of Christian Bößner, who promoted this event for the third time. He already announced that the next festival in 2011 will be again in the same location. Those who are interested to know more about the ambiance I recommend to look at the numerous photos, which are published by friends of this event on Facebook.

The festival was opened by piano wizard David Benoit, who pleased the audience with several songs of his new album Earthglow. David Benoit is like Dave Grusin one of the big names of contemporary jazz. Always looking after new sides of music, he created with Earthglow anew gripping melodies with addictive potential. From his great repertoire we listened to Kei’s Song, Letter To Heaven, Blue Rondo a la Turque and Freedom at Midnight. The latest mentioned song is now often played on his tours. Originally recorded for his same-titled album (1990), the reaction on all his concert was so overwhelming, that he decided to re-release the popular song and mix it with musical quotations of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

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