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Earthglow

David Benoit

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Album Review

David Benoit has been quoted as saying that when he started recording Earthglow, he wanted the entire album to have a very electronica-minded approach, "with long loops and lots of samples, with a little piano in the mix." But Clark Germain, who Benoit co-produced Earthglow with, felt that going too far in the electronica direction would be a mistake — and Benoit decided that Germain was right. That's a good thing because Earthglow, it turns out, is one of the more memorable albums in Benoit's catalog. "Will's Chill" (which was named after will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas) and "Straight Away" offer some acknowledgment of the downtempo/chillout/trip-hop aesthetic one finds on the softer side of electronica, but even then, Benoit doesn't allow the production to smother his musicianship. And even though much of Earthglow is relevant to smooth jazz, Benoit (who is heard on both electric keyboards and acoustic piano) isn't offering the type of lightweight elevator music that he has often been criticized for recording in the past. Earthglow is commercial music, but it's commercial music with integrity and substance. That is evident on "Botswana Bossa Nova," which draws on soul-jazz, Brazilian jazz, and African pop; it is evident on the somewhat Joe Sample-ish title song and the hypnotic "Sneaky as a Cat," which is mindful of both bossa nova and modal jazz. This 2010 release is by no means the work of a jazz purist, but it is definitely an album with a jazz mentality. And like 1989's Waiting for Spring (a straight-ahead bop/post-bop effort with an obvious Bill Evans influence) and 2008's Jazz for Peanuts (a tribute to Vince Guaraldi), Earthglow demonstrates that Benoit is quite capable of providing substantial, intelligent music when he puts his mind to it.

Customer Reviews

Another Great Work from the Master!

Mr. Benoit never fails to please with such balanced, thoughtful and emotion-provoking work. His compositions are "magnificent color to the ear." Playing with such grace and style, and with a complement of talented, accomplished musicians in their own right, he delivers another gem. This is very reminiscent of his older works, such as "Freedom at Midnight" and "Every Step of the Way." Way to go Dave!

Back to the basics!

This is the David Benoit that is what I want. Excellent album. I have them all but this is like the original stuff. Good work!!!

Brilliant artist

I've been following this guy's work for 20 years now (gads) and have yet to be disappointed. Get it NOW!

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...
Full Bio
Earthglow, David Benoit
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