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Bopitude - Review

I had a purely stereotypical response to the idea of [Bopitude] before the first note sounded—a Hard Bop tribute led by a drummer. I winced in anticipation. But this CD is the very opposite of percussive ego-blasting: everyone here is a thoroughly swinging melodist, and the opening of “Cheese Cake” had a forward-looking Basie glide. Benedict, like his noble forbears, plays for the band; the rhythm section lovingly supports the two horns, and the CD is a model of intelligent variety: a thousand times more inspiring than efforts by more famous players. It isn’t Easy Listening nor is it slavish “repertory,” but a contemporary approach to the music of Gordon, McFarland, Mobley, Dorham, Timmons, and others. It works superbly (and it is beautifully recorded): I wish this band exposure and gigs.

Like Michael Benedict’s “Boplitude,” this new issue will give the weary Jazz listener much hope for the present and the future.

Michael Steinman

Bopitude

Michael Benedict plays and endorses Drumsticks