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Freedom at Midnight

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Album Review

Pianist David Benoit's debut for GRP was a big seller and set the tone for the next decade of his career. In general, Benoit's piano is heard in the forefront, joined by oversized rhythm sections (including the Rippingtons' Russ Freeman) and a string section. A strictly boppish quartet rendition of "Del Sasser" with altoist Sam Riney is a nice change of pace, but otherwise, the music is melodic, lightweight, and better for backgrounds than for close listening. Overall, this program is pleasant and not at all objectionable, but difficult to remember once the CD is finished.

Customer Reviews

Album Guide = WRONG!

Along with the five other reviewers, I completely disagree with the final line of the review. This is one of his MOST memorable albums. This and "American Landscapes" are my favorite Benoit albums. The first and eponymous track is his true gem that ignited his career and albums. The next three tracks are quite beautiful and memorable with their hypnotizing melodies. The next five are rich pieces that help put me in wonderful moods. The penultimate track, "Del Sasser," is an elaborate work that mixes elegance with style. The final track is simply a grand romantic song that helps put me to sleep with its melodic intricacies. Overall, each and every track is memorable and rich.

I disagree...

... with the "All Music Guide" review in their last sentence as these songs definitely make a strong and favorable impression. I bought this album as a CD in 1990 and have played it a lot since then. This is great stuff, but if you ever have a chance to see Benoit in concert, drop everything and GO, as you will then see him ad lib in a way never heard in his published music. This guy is amazing and this CD is a fine introduction to his work.

Another AMG Reviewer on drugs!!

What in the world?!! This album...difficult to remember? This album is a classic!! It has tunes like "Freedom at Midnight", "Along the milky way" and "Kei song". Need I say more?!


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 clearly been aimed at the charts. He studied composition and piano at El Camino College and, in 1975, played on the soundtrack...
Full Bio
Freedom at Midnight, David Benoit
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Customer Ratings

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