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Michael Benedict & Bopitude: Michael Benedict & Bopitude

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Cheesecake"

Drummer Michael Benedict's Bopitude is of a very special variety...Hard Bopitude. Michael Benedict & Bopitude is chockfull of hard bop from the likes of Clifford Brown ("Joy Spring"), Grachan Moncur III ("Frankenstein") and Bobby Timmons ("Moanin'"). Pianist Bruce Barth brings his bop togs to the festivities and the classic The Jazz Messengers lineup (trumpet and tenor saxophone out front) is reassembled.

The disc opens with a brisk reading of Dexter Gordon's "Cheese Cake." Originally released on Gordon's Go (Blue Note, 1962), the song contains Latin motifs the saxophonist liked to weave into his melodies and heads. Here, Brian Patneaude is assertive on tenor, ahead of the crisp rhythm established by Benedict, comping and soloing with gusto, as does Barth. This thorough updating of the Gordon classic possesses crystalline sonics, revealing all of the charms hidden by Gordon in the song's hem.

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