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Michael Benedict & Bopitude featuring Gary Smulyan: Five and One (2012)

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Michael Benedict & Bopitude featuring Gary Smulyan: Five and One Track review of "Work Song"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Diamond hard bop is alive and well and living in Michael Benedict & Bopitude's studio. The quintet's debut, Michael Benedict & Bopitude (Planet Arts, 2011), established the group as a premiere hard bop unit employing the classic trumpet-tenor quintet format used by Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
and various others. For this edition of Bopitude, drummer Benedict adds baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan
Gary Smulyan
Gary Smulyan
b.1956
sax, baritone
, whose Smul's Paradise (Capri Records, 2012) made its own hard bop waves. The pairing is an opportune one.

From old bop like Kenny Dorham
Kenny Dorham
Kenny Dorham
1924 - 1972
trumpet
's "An Oscar for Oscar" to new bop like Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
b.1953
sax, alto
's "Quiet as It's Kept," Five and One is like one solid punch. The band's performance of Nat Adderley
Nat Adderley
Nat Adderley
1931 - 2000
trumpet
's soul-jazz classic "Work Song" is the real thing, performed in the vernacular. A call-and-response is set up between Smulyan's baritone and the united front of trumpeter Chris Pasin
Chris Pasin

trumpet
and tenor saxophonist Brian Patneaude
Brian Patneaude
Brian Patneaude
b.1974
sax, tenor
. After the opening chord, Benetict's bass drum and snare shot kick the piece off at a brisk and swinging pace. Pianist Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
b.1958
piano
steadies the opening and holds down the edges for the solos. His own solo is full-throated and muscular. Bopitude makes a case for "Work Song" as the quintessential hard bop piece, giving Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
1935 - 1974
piano
' "Moanin'" a run for it money.

Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.

Personnel: Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Chris Pasin trumpet and flugelhord; Brian Patneaude: tenor saxophone; Bruce Barth: piano; Mike Lawrence: bass; Michael Benedict: drums.

Record Label: Planet Arts


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