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Full Circle

David Benoit

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Album Review

Though he's skirted around in various genres, for Full Circle, as the title suggests, David Benoit returns to where he started: contemporary jazz. With the same set of musicians in the same studio as the ones who were used on the 1985 release This Side Up, Benoit plays his piano expertly through all ten tracks on the album (and only one, "Aqua de Beber," by Jobim and de Moraes, is a cover). It is, in short, smooth jazz at its finest, which means a lot of horns, a happily funky bass, pretty breaks, and a whole lot of production. It's all very clean and safe, and even though there are many sections in which solos appear to be happening, everything's so controlled and accurate that it seems as if it were all written out in precise black notes anyway. If nothing else, this attests to the expertise and talents of the musicians who Benoit has on Full Circle (himself included), like keyboardist Jeff Lorber, producer and guitarist Paul Brown, percussionist Luis Conte, and bassist Nathan East. The songs are romantic, poignant, and still fun, and Benoit and company are able to make the music and the genre come alive with their phrasing and runs, bringing some step into the songs — not enough for dancing, perhaps, but certainly enough to get the groove going a bit, like in the playful, summery "Yusuke the Ghost" or the Brubeck-inspired "Café Rio," which keeps things from getting boring or maudlin. Yes, inevitably there are many moments of extreme sentimentality, but that just comes with the smooth jazz territory. Is it Thelonious Monk? No, certainly not. But for contemporary jazz lovers, Full Circle should definitely satisfy.

Customer Reviews

Very Enjoyable!

I first heard David Benoit when he was a backup player for Tim Weisberg. He has improved and changed with each album. This harkens to his old recordings while exploring new territory as well. My favorite tracks are Cafe Rio, First Day of School, and Chasing the Tides. Check this one out - you won't be disappointed!

Great Album!!

This album hits every one of Benoit's various styles and captures the essence of his great talent! This is a MUST-BUY for anyone who appreciates good smooth jazz

Absolutely Awesome

In the tradition of David Benoit, this album is just wonderful...I've been a fan of his for many years. This album certainly does not disappoint.

Biography

Born: August 18, 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...
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Full Circle, David Benoit
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