Daniel Bennett Group: Clockhead Goes to Camp (2013)
"Clockhead Goes to Camp is an album which is easy to listen to but not easy listening. The tone is light, mellow and uplifting yet it has enough depth to give many surprises."
These adjectives all describe Daniel Bennett's music. More globally, this is music devoid of dark gravity, meaning while the music is deep it is not negatively so. This is positive, whimsical music that smiles. it is exploratory with no concern of where it may end up. The opening tune, "The Old Muskrat" begins with an almost childlike meandering melody that broadens as the song progresses, reminiscent of alto saxophonist Art Pepper's "Make and List (Make a Wish)." Bennett's alto saxophone takes on an almost Paul Desmond dryness while it skips over Tyson Stubelek' schoolyard drumming. "Enchanting" comes to mind, or maybe "witty." Whatever it is, it is different.
The title cut echoes this approach after Bennett first waxes solo over another hopscotch rhythm. Idea development is brisk with its own order and progression. Bennett's flute work, as on "Whatever It Might Be" or "Paint the Fence," reveal a flautist who is not trying too hard, thus allowing himself to grow within the composition. This is among the most original jazz composing to come this way in a long time. It proves to be rewarding listening.
Track Listing: The Old Muskrat; An Elephant Hugs a New Car; Nine Piglets; Mr Duck’s Beautiful New Kitchen; Clockhead Goes to Camp; Whatever it Might Be; Last Summer at Camp Creepy; Paint The Fence; Sandpaper is Necessary; John Lizard and Mr Pug; Cabin 12 Escapes Into the Night; Patience; Ten Piglets.
Personnel: Daniel Bennett; alto saxophone, flute and clarinet: Mark Cocheo; guitar: Peter Brendler; bass: Tyson Stubelek; drums.
Record Label: Manhattan Daylight Media Group
Style: Beyond Jazz