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Shaken Not Stirred

David Benoit

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Album Review

Unlike most genre superstars, David Benoit never seems content to stick strictly with any pop formula for very long. While his hummable ivory spirit always shines through, his many attempts to shake and stir the typical expectations make him perhaps the most artistic pop jazz artist around. Shaken Not Stirred is thus an appropriate moniker for this wildly eclectic collection, which makes overwhelmingly effective use of orchestral grandeur (the enrapturing "Carmel"), and comes across more as a smashing musician's playground than a lightweight, radio friendly stab. he treads just enough familiar territory to keep old fans pleased but enjoys experimenting with percussive explosions, wild jamming, and traditional smoky club blues. The genuine simple warmth of the acoustic tribute "Jacqueline" (Jackie Kennedy Onassis died the year this was released) reminds us, however, that behind the crazy, genre-busting navigations is a gentle man full of grace. Hopefully the mixed bag of vocals — a solid effort by David Pack undercut by a meandering schmaltzer by Kenny Rankin — won't detract from the wide-ranging and powerful instrumental tracks. The only voice Benoit needs is in his fingers.

Customer Reviews

Pretty good!

Pretty good if you like the soft kind of jazz!

Biography

Born: 1953 in Bakersfield, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the more popular performers in the idiom somewhat inaccurately called "contemporary jazz," David Benoit has mostly performed light melodic background music, what critic Alex Henderson has dubbed "new age with a beat." Benoit has done a few fine jazz projects (including a tribute to Bill Evans and a collaboration with Emily Remler) but most of his output for GRP has been aimed clearly at the charts. He studied composition and piano at El Camino College and, in 1975, played on the soundtrack...
Full Bio
Shaken Not Stirred, David Benoit
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