Pianist and composer David Benoit has something to say. It s clear from his multi-dimensional body of work across three-and-a-half decades, and his deep jazz roots that still allow room for forays into classical, Latin, pop, world music and a range of other sounds. The connections and associations he has made along the way have resulted in a fascinating and ongoing interplay between musics, musicians and musical philosophies. Simply put, Benoit is engaged in a conversation a dynamic and ongoing act of communication that results in a sound that s consistently engaging and entertaining.
When I started making records, I never conformed to a specific format, says Benoit, whose recording career began with the release of Heavier Than Yesterday in 1977. Mostly my records were just me writing and playing my own music, directly from my heart. I ve come back to that on this record, but using some orchestral colors this time. As a composer, I ve stretched a bit, and this really represents where I am right now as a pianist, as a musician, as a composer. It s a very good snapshot for people who have been following me for a while. This is where I am right now. I m not pandering to radio. I m just doing what I love to do, and that s what s been so much fun about it.
Benoit takes the discussion to a new level of creative exchange on Conversation, his new album. Benoit gets assistance along the way from musicians representing a broad cross section of styles: electric guitarist Jeff Golub, acoustic guitarist Pat Kelley, guitarist David Pack (Ambrosia), flutist Tim Weisberg, classical pianist Robert Theis and a cadre of young classical players who are fearless about taking their music to less traditional and more adventurous and exploratory places.
The discussion may be intense and filled with many voices, but the overriding message remains simple. My primary goal on this recording just as it is on nearly all of my recordings is for people to come away from it feeling good, says Benoit. Or maybe it will take them to a place they ve never been. Maybe they ll feel something a little bit deeper than they might feel with other CDs, or maybe they ll want to put it on and have a cocktail and dance the bossa nova. In the end, I want them to take away whatever they want to take away. The main thing is that they enjoy it, and they experience a little bit of what I experienced making it. Listen to David Benoit s Conversation and hear what this innovative and enduring artist has to say.