Michael Benedict and BOPITUDE is a Hard-Bop Quintet/Sextet that draws on the familiar of the Hard Bop era and uncovers material that has had little or no exposure from the past, bringing a 21st century approach to this important era of Jazz. The group features Michael Benedict-drums and leader, Bruce Barth-piano, Chris Pasin-trumpet, Brian Patneaude-tenor saxophone and Mike Lawrence-bass. On BOPITUDE’S second album, world-renowned baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, joined the group.
“Veteran drummer Michael Benedict’s mission statement comes through loud and clear in the title of this aggressively swinging hard-bop offering. Straight-ahead fans will surely dig this.” Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times “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 works superbly (and it is beautifully recorded): I wish this band exposure and gigs.” Cadence Magazine “Taking some of the best jazz compositions of the mid 1950’s to mid 1960s hard bop movement and placing them into a more modern context, drummer Michael Benedict leads an exciting band called Bopitude which consists of Bruce Barth on piano, Chris Pasin on trumpet, Brian Patneaude on saxophones and Mike Lawrence on bass”. Jazzandblues.com “Benedict, unlike some drummer-leaders, doesn’t loom over the proceedings. He’s a team player and provides a variety of tempos and approaches, ie, sticking to brushes throughout “Joy Spring”, which keep the music fresh”. NYC Jazz Record “Drummer Michael Benedict's Bopitude is of a very special variety. allaboutjazz.com “…Benedict and crew know what they're doing, love doing it, and you can feel the energy and excitement in every track”. Albany Times Union “The overall effort comes across as a well-conceived, emotionally absorbing, and beautifully balanced tribute to Hard Bop that lovers of complex, stimulating, yet accessible Jazz will appreciate.” Albanyjazz.com Bopitude is about re-creating that vintage Blue Note hard-bop sound. This is seen right down to the classic intro to Clifford Brown’s “Joyspring,” which is so often left out by the young jazz cats who call the tune at jam sessions but which purists will argue is integral to the tune. Metroland Magazine The solos are consistently colorful and inventive, and Bopitude displays a very appealing group sound. The musicians are creative within the hard bop tradition, not merely copying the past but building upon it. The results are highly recommended for all straight ahead jazz fans. Scott Yanow/LA Jazz Scene