Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
133

Daniel Bennett Group: Peace And Stability Among Bears

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Bennett Group: Peace And Stability Among Bears The Daniel Bennett Group's trio of bear-related albums, the "Bear Thompson Trilogy," reaches its lovably eccentric conclusion with Peace And Stability Among Bears, a delightful collection of Americana-flavored jazz tunes. The trilogy started with 2007's A Nation Of Bears and 2008's The Legend Of Bear Thompson (both on Bennett Alliance), but while all three are linked by reeds player/composer Bennett—and, of course, bears—the lineup has changed a little over time. This album features a quartet, with guitarist Chris Hersch, bassist Jason Davis and drummer Rick Landwehr bringing their talents to the project.

The pervading mood is one of good vibes. These tunes grab the attention from the get go, and Bennett's characteristically snaky melodies and driving, insistent time signatures generate a positive vibe on almost every track. "The Lost Treasure Of Lunta" brings this combination of fluid melody and insistent rhythm to a fine art, driving the tune enthusiastically towards the gentler, more spacious, beauty of "Arizona." The first part of this tune is a folksy, down-home duet between Bennett's clarinet and Hersch's gently rolling guitar. The second, kicked off by the entry of Landwehr's solid drum pattern, is more upbeat, but still seems tailor made for a genteel country dance in the 1890s.

The general mood of good humor disappears for a few minutes on "The Village." This is a more disquieting piece, with a free, avant-garde influence. Some aggressive drumming from Landwehr and a more combative relationship between Bennett (on clarinet) and Hersch create a musical tension. "Open" retains the pace and drive of "The Village," but the mood is once more light and peaceful, with some fluid interplay between all four musicians. "Bears In A Covered Wagon" is slightly more idiosyncratic, taking its style from dub reggae, with Davis and Landwehr sounding as if Lee "Scratch" Perry might have slipped into the production booth.

Peace And Stability Among Bears is a fine conclusion to the tale of Bear Thompson. Bennett has a genius for creating immediately affecting melodies, which the group then develops into small masterpieces. The end of Bennett's ursine era might be a cause for some sadness, but hopefully his next projects will retain his slightly eccentric and hugely enjoyable take on writing and performance.


Track Listing: The Local Sheriff; The Lost Treasure of Lunta; Arizona; Ghost; Andrew Variations; Dogs Of Our Time; Farmer Joe Was A Bear; The Village; Open; Bears In A Covered Wagon.

Personnel: Daniel Bennett: alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Chris Hersch: guitar; Jason Davis; bass; Rick Landwehr: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Bennett Alliance | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sinking Houseboat Confusion
Sinking Houseboat...
Manhattan Daylight Media Group
2016
buy
The Mystery at Clown Castle
The Mystery at Clown...
Manhattan Daylight Media Group
2015
buy
Clockhead Goes to Camp
Clockhead Goes to Camp
Manhattan Daylight Media Group
2013
buy
Peace And Stability Among Bears
Peace And Stability...
Bennett Alliance
2012
buy
Peace & Stability Among Bears
Peace & Stability...
Bennett Alliance
2011
buy
Peace And Stability Among Bears
Peace And Stability...
Bennett Alliance
2011
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.