David Benoit, one of the most celebrated piano wizards in contemporary jazz, has enjoyed a four-decade career of chart-topping success. This Friday, August 23, he will release a new limit-defying album, titled David Benoit and Friends, via Shanachie Entertainment and we’re delighted to present you with an exclusive album stream ahead of its release, along with a few words about each track from the artist himself.
David Benoit and Friends was produced by Bud Hamer and is partly inspired by such wide-ranging artists as guitar master Kenny Burrell, pianist Dave Grusin, Coldplay and thriller novelist Dean Koontz, among others. It also unites Benoit with such musicians as saxophonists Dave Koz and Vincent Ingala, guitarists Peter White and Marc Antoine, vocalist Lindsey Webster and more.
“I hope when people hear David Benoit and Friends, they feel joy and passion or are reminded of a great memory,” Benoit says. “Maybe the music will even be a nice soundtrack to fix a cocktail to.”
“The Ballad of Jane Hawk”
Any Dean Koontz fans? This is his new heroine and surprise; the fictitious rogue FBI agent is a David Benoit fan!
This is Jeff Lorber’s super-funky creation with yours truly on Hammond along with some groovy brass.
“Make It Real”
And she sure did! Lindsey Webster adds her vocal magic to this little Bossa tune.
“Moon and Sand”
This is a classic standard made famous by Kenny Burrell. Who could forget that provocative CTI cover for Guitar Forms? Marc Antoine makes a guest appearance here with a stunning performance worthy of any Kenny Burrell fan.
This is named after a very small fishing village in Northern Italy – part of Cinque Terre. My longtime friend Dave Koz adds some soulful sax to this.
“How Deep Is the Ocean”
This is one of my favorite standards, and it gets a fresh reach with the sexy Harmon mute of Rick Braun.
This is my subtle tribute to my hero, Dave Grusin. It is also the first appearance by Vincent Ingala on one of my records.
This song is a retro Bossa jam inspired by a recent trip to Siena, Italy, where I found my Tom Ford sunnys.
“Feel It Still”
This was introduced to me by Bud Hamer, a fan of Portugal. A rather unexpected but fun choice!
This song first appeared on my debut album Heavier Than Yesterday, way back in 1977. The title refers to the two different metronome markings – 96 for slow and 132 for fast.
“Viva la Vida”
My wife gets the credit for this one. She loves Coldplay and convinced me to do this song. I am happy to introduce a former member of our youth symphony, Justin Cheung. He’s 19 years old!
For more information about David Benoit and his new album, visit his website.
Featured photo courtesy of Shanachie.
Like this article? Get more when you subscribe.