Benoit/Freeman Project 2

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Creatively, David Benoit has had his ups and downs over the years. The pianist/keyboardist has recorded more than his share of forgettable smooth jazz albums, but he has also provided some decent straight-ahead discs that were greatly influenced by Bill Evans the pianist, not the saxophonist. This 2004 release, however, doesn't fall into either category -- Benoit/Freeman Project 2, a collaboration with guitarist Russ Freeman, isn't straight-ahead acoustic jazz, but it isn't an album of mindless "elevator Muzak" either. For the most part, this CD could be described as "smooth jazz with a brain"; pop considerations are a high priority, but at the same time, jazz ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
Creatively, David Benoit has had his ups and downs over the years. The pianist/keyboardist has recorded more than his share of forgettable smooth jazz albums, but he has also provided some decent straight-ahead discs that were greatly influenced by Bill Evans the pianist, not the saxophonist. This 2004 release, however, doesn't fall into either category -- Benoit/Freeman Project 2, a collaboration with guitarist Russ Freeman, isn't straight-ahead acoustic jazz, but it isn't an album of mindless "elevator Muzak" either. For the most part, this CD could be described as "smooth jazz with a brain"; pop considerations are a high priority, but at the same time, jazz considerations spontaneity and improvisation are not ignored. Benoit/Freeman Project 2 tends to be meatier and more substantial than most of the smooth jazz/NAC releases that Benoit has been a part of, and one of the things that this album has going for it is a more organic production style. Benoit and Freeman, who produced the CD together, don't suffocate their material with excessive production -- this time, they're smart enough to let it breathe, and meaningful solos are encouraged rather than discouraged. Most of the tracks are instrumental; one of the exceptions is "Two Survivors," a likable adult contemporary tune that features singer Vince Gill. The country-pop star might seem an unlikely choice for a Benoit/Freeman encounter, but then, Gill was never a hardcore honky tonker à la Buck Owens, Johnny Cash or Lefty Frizzell -- Gill has often laced his country with big doses of pop, and he's quite appropriate for an AC tune like "Two Survivors." This album has a few throwaway tracks, but they're the exception instead of the rule -- and overall, Benoit/Freeman Project 2 is a cut above most of Benoit's other smooth jazz/NAC outings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/22/2004
  • Label: Peak Records
  • UPC: 013431852520
  • Catalog Number: 8525
  • Sales rank: 25,847

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Palmetto Park - Russ Freeman (4:01)
  2. 2 Via Nueve - Russ Freeman (5:17)
  3. 3 Montecito - Russ Freeman (4:39)
  4. 4 Club Havana - Russ Freeman (5:37)
  5. 5 Two Survivors - Russ Freeman (5:03)
  6. 6 Samba - Russ Freeman (4:48)
  7. 7 Moon Through the Window - Russ Freeman (4:47)
  8. 8 Struttin' - Russ Freeman (4:41)
  9. 9 Stiletto Heels - Russ Freeman (4:12)
  10. 10 Waiting for the Stars to Fall - Russ Freeman (3:31)
  11. 11 [Untitled Track] (2:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Benoit Primary Artist, Piano, Conductor, fender rhodes
Peter Erskine Drums, Musician
Jack Jezzro Bass
David Angell Violin
Chris Botti Trumpet, Musician
Dave Carpenter Bass, Musician
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums, Musician
Luis Conte Percussion, Musician
David Davidson Violin
Connie Ellisor Violin
Vince Gill Vocals, Musician
Carl Gorodetzky Violin, Concert Master
Jim Grosjean Viola
Byron House Bass, Musician
Anthony LaMarchina Cello
Lee Larrison Violin
The Nashville String Machine Strings
David Pack Vocals, Musician
Pamela Sixfin Violin
Bobby G. Taylor Oboe
Alan Umstead Violin
Catherine Umstead Violin
Gary VanOsdale Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale Violin
Kris Wilkinson Viola
Cate Myer Violin
Gerald Greer Violin
Janet Askey Violin
Carole Rabinowitz-Neuen Cello
Jennifer Kummer French Horn
Russ Freeman Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer Guitar, Classical Guitar
Technical Credits
David Benoit Composer, Producer, Contributor, Orchestral Arrangements
Clark Germain Engineer
Doug Sax Mastering
Mark Wexler Executive Producer
Andi Howard Executive Producer
Robert Hadley Mastering
Russ Freeman Composer, Producer, Executive Producer
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