Benjie Porecki: The Rest of My Life
Through the wonders of technology (and a keyboard), Benjie Porecki plays both acoustic piano and organ (recalling Milt Buckner) on all but one of the10 tracks. Sometimes it's the piano in the lead with the organ providing the harmonic foundation; other times the simulated B3 is on top. What comes out is an hour of chicken shack, white lightnin' funky jazz with occasional gospel and rock overtones laid on. Working out of the Washington D.C., area, this is the keyboard player's second album for Maryland's Severn label.
Of the ten tunes on the play list, Porecki wrote half of them. The rest are an eclectic lot, running the gamut from Bob Marley to Stevie Wonder, including one of the more woeful tunes of all time, "Here's to Life", put on the map by Shirley Horn. Chuck Brown, who with the Soul Searchers has been involved with the making of some notable albums, does a soul drenched vocal here. The rendition of Wonder's ballad "Seems so Long" also stands out. "Desperado" would be favored by gospel groups, if somebody penned some lyrics for it. The expressive guitar rhythms of Dan Leonard raise this cut above the ordinary.
On his last effort, Porecki was criticized for not having sufficient help which made it difficult to sit through a longish session of mostly organ music, unless the player was Jimmy Smith or Brother Jack McDuff. While a few horns might have helped on this latest album, the play list of funky and straight ahead jazz will make most listeners happy. Moreover, the session is emboldened by bass icon Keter Betts who shows off his considerable wares with a solo on "Give You all My Love". Recommended.
Track Listing: Give You all My Love#%; Walking with a New Step#; Seems So Long#; Burnin' & Lootin'*$; Somewhere; Here's to Life Desperado*$; Give of Yourself$; Bama McSweeney*$; The Rest of My Life#^
Personnel: Benjie Porecki - Keyboards; Dan Leonard* - Guitar; Keter Betts#, Steve Gomes$ - Bass; Robb Stupka, Alejandro Lucini% - Drums; Skip Pruitt^ - Sax; Chuck Brown& - Vocals