by Marco Benevento


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Pianist, composer, and arranger Marco Benevento's solo recordings have generally been categorized as jazz -- though they are many other things as well. Benevento possesses the technical acumen of a jazz master: impeccable technique, a seemingly limitless improvisational vocabulary, a rich harmonic language, an original (loopy) sense of swing, and imaginative arranging skills. But he has also embraced funk, rock, avant-classical, blues, and more, with eager curiosity and mischievous glee. TigerFace began life at the historic EastWest Studios with producer Tom Biller (where Pet Sounds was recorded) and finished in Brooklyn with Bryce Goggin. For all its manic sonic and musical adventure, this is Benevento's "pop" record. The set's opening two tracks contain the first vocals to appear on any of his albums. Rubblebucket's Kalmia Traver's bright, supple, wistful, voice adorns "Limbs of a Pine" and "This Is How It Goes." Both are rampant with skillfully written indie pop hooks. On the former, Benevento creates a 21st century version of the Tom Tom Club's aesthetic, with angular cheerful dance music swirling around numerous keyboards with an old drum machine, Stuart Bogie's saxophone, and Matt Chamberlain's big tom-toms rolling over it all. The repetitive chorus is infectious. The latter song (with Nick Kinsey on drums) is less funky, more indie; it alternates between harpsichord-driven Baroque and shimmering, blissful pop. Throughout, Benevento fills spaces with his array of keyboards, a slithering bassline, and loops. "Eagle Rock" is a midtempo ballad that becomes something more transcendent with two different melodies approaching each other in the middle. It touches on Brian Wilson's harmonic terrain with a lovely backing chorus. "Do What She Told You" walks the line between post-bop jazz and fuzzed-out rocking blues -- dig Dave Dreiwitz's distorted bassline. "Escape Horse" is a straight-on rocker with tough, upfront blues and jazz piano flourishes amid the washes of bass and snare breaks. The closing version of "This Is How It Goes" is a dreamy instrumental that works even better than its predecessor. The singing is all in the piano and is expanded by the intricate communication between arrangements, players, and production textures. These cuts have melodies that are focused and reined in -- none hit six minutes. But the layering of instruments, musical genres, and harmonics is as adventurous as it is accessible. TigerFace is an enormous, fun-filled surprise. It fills out his profile beyond the sphere of jam band and jazz genres and reveals the range of Benevento's caliber and ambition. ~ Thom Jurek.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2012
Label: Royal Potato
UPC: 0020286211327
catalogNumber: 1126
Rank: 214418

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marco Benevento   Primary Artist,Piano,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Mellotron,farfisa organ,Stylophone,Clavioline,Optigan,Tack Piano,Mini Moog
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
Dave Dreiwitz   Bass
John McEntire   Drums
Mike Gordon   Bass,Mandolin
Stuart Bogie   Saxophone,Background Vocals
Andrew Barr   Drums
Rich Stein   Percussion
Tom Biller   Background Vocals
Ali Helnwein   Violin
Jim Schwartz   Background Vocals
Reed Mathis   Bass,Vocals
Nick Kinsey   Drums
Kalmia Traver   Flute,Saxophone,Vocals
Athena Biller   Background Vocals
Katie Benevento   Background Vocals
Darla Scarpella   Background Vocals
Michael Bodet   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bryce Goggin   Engineer
David Poe   Booking
Chris Bittner   Engineer
Kevin Calabro   Management
Marco Benevento   Composer
Tom Biller   Engineer
Adam Sachs   Engineer
Seth Rappaport   Booking
Baptiste Ibar   Artwork
Jay Wesley   Engineer
Annakalmia Traver   Composer
Cochrane McMillan   Engineer
Dave O'Dell   Engineer

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