CD Right Here, Right Now [David Benoit] (CD 859970),
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Right Here, Right Now [David Benoit]

  • 1. Watermelon Man
    2. Right Here, Right Now
    3. Le Grand
    4. Don't Know Why
    5. Jellybeans and Chocolate
    6. Third Encounter
    7. Swingin' Waikiki
    8. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
    9. Wistful Thinking
    10. Quiet Room
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 0000597

  • Credits
    ProducerRick Braun

    Personnel: David Benoit (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ, programming); Euge Groove, Andy Suzuki (tenor saxophone); Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn, programming); Wayne Bergeron (trumpet); Brian Culbertson, Nick Lane (trombone); Pat Kelly, Tony Maiden, Randy Jacobs, Peter White (guitar); Kevin Axt, Freddie washington, Jr., Dean Taba, Nathan East (bass); Steve Ferrone, Land Richards, Bud Harner, Jeff Olson (drums); Paulinho Da Costa, Luis Conte, Lenny Castro, Brad Dutz (percussion).
    A true elder statesman of contemporary jazz (whose seminal mid-'80s recordings helped pave the way for the smooth jazz genre), pianist David Benoit stayed relevant, fresh, and funky due to three factors -- brilliant melodies, stylistic diversity from track to track, and working with hip, edgy producers. Rick Braun co-produced two of Benoit's recent, similarly brilliant offerings, Professional Dreamer (1999) and Fuzzy Logic (2001), and on Right Here, Right Now assumes the helm fully, guiding Benoit through a wide terrain of musical territory, sometimes adding his own trumpet expertise. There's the ongoing fun of funk/soul triumphs like "Watermelon Man" (Herbie Hancock's classic fashioned with the old-school bounce of another Benoit influence, Ramsey Lewis), the retro-minded title track, and the brassy jam "Jellybeans and Chocolate" (featuring Brian Culbertson and Euge Groove). Benoit's more thoughtful side emerges on the film score-like "Le Grand," an unofficial tribute to the style of Michel Legrand featuring a dense percussion atmosphere, and the understated, melancholy "Quiet Room," a tribute to Benoit's late father (featuring Braun and guitarist Pat Kelley) and something of a sequel to his Grammy-nominated piece "Dad's Room." Benoit's other stops include hitching posts in "Swingin' Waikiki" (ah, the joy of bossa, featuring saxman Andy Suzuki) and a mystical, bass-throbbing "Third Encounter." Aside from his occasional Vince Guaraldi reduxes, Benoit with a few exceptions never much relied on cover tunes, but here includes two besides the Hancock tune -- a dreamy "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" with Peter White and an orchestra, and a sparse easy listening cover of "Don't Know Why." Years passed, smooth jazz radio kept playing his oldies, yet his new stuff kept getting better and better. ~ Jonathan Widran

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (12/03, p.102) - "[O]riginal numbers such as the airy and sophisticated 'Third Encounter,' 'Swingin' Waikiki' and gospel-tinged 'Wistful Thinking' showcase Benoit's other playing styles."
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