Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

478

Marco Benevento: Invisible Baby

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
If you thought keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo's duo made some noise, you ain't heard nothing yet. If Best Reason To Buy The Sun (Ropeadope, 2005) offended you, step away from the speakers. Benevento was only warming up.



When Benevento arrived in New York in 2001, he studied piano with Joanne Brackeen and Brad Mehldau and Invisible Baby is the piano trio album he says he's always wanted to make. But don't be fooled. On the disc, he's accompanied by the exuberant post-rock drummers Matt Chamberlain (five tracks) and Andrew Barr (three tracks), and the electric bass is played by the murderously heavy Reed Mathis.



Benevento himself spends almost as much time on Mellotron, Wurlitzer, combo organs, circuit bent toys, and other electric keyboards as he does on piano—which is, anyway, mostly fed through Leslie speakers, projector amps, spring reverbs and custom tape effects.



This is, however, no mindless thrash; it is a carefully arranged, multi-layered affair. The disc overflows with sonic and rhythmic adventures, morphing dynamics, surreal humor, psychedelic colors, melody, joy and a lust for life. A couple of sweeping, stadium-sized ballads complement the overall full-throttle delirium.



The album also contains in one track, "The Real Morning Party," a certifiable hit single, Benevento's "Rockit" for 2008. A true slice of retro genius, the track evokes 1960s pop auteurs Phil Spector and Joe Meek; the first in the quasi-symphonic wall of sound created by the overdubbed trio, the second in the naive, space-age loopiness of the lead keyboard, a Farfisa Fast 2, which plays not one, but two ridiculous, trite going on genius, one-hit-and-you're-hooked little melodies. Just when you're thinking things can't get any better, Barr closes the track with an unhinged, John Bonham-like, doubled-up drum solo.



There are seven other tracks, all of them creative, primo, stone delights. To call Invisible Baby a jam band disc would be to underestimate it. It's beyond jam band—like Ken Kesey painted on the front of the bus, it's further. It will twist your synapses, feed your head, and turn on your love light. It will, in short, make you feel glad to be alive.


Track Listing: Bus Ride; Record Book; Atari; The Real Morning Party; You Must Be A Lion; If You Keep On Asking Me; Ruby; Are You The Favorite Person Of Anybody?

Personnel: Marco Benevento: piano, Mellotron, circuit bent toys, electric keyboards, church pump organ, banjo; Reed Mathis: bass; Matt Chamberlain: drums (1, 3, 5, 6, 8); Andrew Barr: drums (2, 4, 7).

Title: Invisible Baby | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Hyena Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Unnatural  Events" CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
by John Sharpe
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "TITOK" CD/LP/Track Review TITOK
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor