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Daniel Bennett: We Are the Orchestra

Read "We Are the Orchestra" reviewed by James Fleming

The music rolls out of the speakers as a breeze shimmers over the prairie. Evoking scenes of broad, open grasslands. The Daniel Bennett Group's We Are The Orchestra plays out like a collage of genres and cultures: Italian opera, American jazz and folk, tinges of East Africa. A vivid tapestry woven from disparate threads. That rather than rehashing musical history, hints at the possibilities of the future. On a track such as “Theme From Ernani" those far off ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: We Are the Orchestra

Read "We Are the Orchestra" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Composer/woodwind player Daniel Bennett and his group make music that cheerfully disregards genre conventions, especially purist notions of what “jazz" can be. There are generous doses of instrumental rock: previous album Sinking Houseboat Confusion (Manhattan Daylight Media Group, 2016) even made a point of adding surf rock to the mix. Most of their albums have been made by a core quartet (plus occasional guests), with the core group recently cut back to a lean trio formation. But the ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: Sinking Houseboat Confusion

Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

After a year of extensive touring to support last years' The Mystery at Clown Castle (Manhattan Daylight Media, 2015) the Daniel Bennett Group returns with a fresh eclectic musical blend they describe as Surf Rock + Avant-Pop + Modern Jazz. All that touring seems to have inspired a stripped-down approach, both stylistically and in the instrumentation. This is music for the road, built for speed. As on the previous album, Bennett is joined by Nat Janoff on electric ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

Read "The Mystery at Clown Castle" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Daniel Bennett is an extremely talented player (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe and piano) and composer whose music has a simple, light and lyrical quality which hides quite a bit complexity going on underneath. There is also more than a bit of wry satire thrown into the mix. While his brand of music will most likely not attract the “downtown" crowd, that is not his aim. What he wants to do is to craft melodies which will ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

Read "The Mystery at Clown Castle" reviewed by Mike Oppenheim

The Daniel Bennett Group's 2015 release The Mystery at Clown Castle, the successor to 2013's Clockhead Goes to Camp, picks up where the latter left off with a fresh and distinct new feel. The personnel has changed, with Daniel Bennett joined by guitarist Nat Janoff, bassist Eddy Khaimovich, and drummer Matthew Feick. Special guests include pianist Jason Yeager and spoken word poet Britt Melewski. Much like its predecessor, The Mystery at Clown Castle is catchy, memorable and unique. ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

Read "The Mystery at Clown Castle" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

The Daniel Bennett Group's music is seductive. Bennett's jazz/rock tunes are bright, attractive, and relentlessly catchy: but odd meters, minimalism, hard rock guitar, and outside jazz are all lurking just below the surface. He even manages to make spoken word go down just as easily as vocals, no doubt greatly aided by the skills of guest poet Britt Melewski. The Mystery at Clown Castle (Manhattan Daylight Media, 2015) the group's sixth full-length album, also features guest pianist Jason ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: Clockhead Goes to Camp

Read "Clockhead Goes to Camp" reviewed by Mike Oppenheim

Clockhead Goes to Camp, by the Daniel Bennett Group, is a refreshing album in its originality, positivity, and apparent simplicity. There are many ways in which this is not a typical jazz album. The instrumentation is one of them. Fronted by Daniel Bennett on saxophone and clarinet, a prominent percussion background, folk inspired guitar, and a rumbling upright bass--this album could easily be filed under any number of categories in the record store.Of the 13 tracks, all originals, ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: Clockhead Goes to Camp

Read "Clockhead Goes to Camp" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Colleague Sammy Stein said of Clockhead Goes to Camp: “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 ...

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Daniel Bennett Group: Clockhead Goes to Camp

Read "Clockhead Goes to Camp" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Reedman Daniel Bennett's Clockhead Goes to Camp is a crystallization of the motifs explored in his previous work. The thirteen short tracks--the longest clocking at less than six minutes--are concise, crisp and deceptively simple. The intriguingly surreal ambience results from the mixture of international folk influences and futuristic minimalism.“Last Summer At Camp Creepy" is imbued with Levantine mysticism, with Bennett unfurling a poetic and passionate tale over the percussive tones of the rhythm section. Bassist Peter Brendler's oud-like ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Daniel Bennett Group: Clockhead Goes to Camp

Read "Clockhead Goes to Camp" reviewed by Sammy Stein

Manhattan based saxophonist Daniel Bennett graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2004 and since then has made ever increasing waves as a composer, band leader and woodwind player in the New York theatre scene. Clockhead Goes To Camp is the Daniel Bennett Group's fourth album, following the success of the 2011 Peace and Stability Among Bears (Bennett Alliance Records). Bennett's music was described by the Boston Herald as “exploratory folk-jazz hybrid," but this album shows Bennett's playing has matured.


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