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Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

Budd Kopman By

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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 hook his audience so they hum them after attending a live show or listening to his albums. Supporting these melodies are arrangements that move things along and never get too intricate.

All of these qualities are in evidence on The Mystery At Clown Castle. Coming in at less than thirty-six minutes, the album's eleven (!) tracks each have a distinct vibe which is presented, quickly developed and finished.

Labels are particularly useless with Bennett's music since any particular track might be put into one or another pigeon hole. Bennett obviously likes it this way, and makes no apologies for what he is doing. The inclusion of the two tracks "Inside the Outside Interlude" and "Outside the Inside Outro" (both of which are pure satire, played with an ugly sound) say a lot about his overall attitude.

So sit down, share your musical space with "The Clown Chemist," "Paul Platypus," "Nine Piglets" and "Uncle Muskrat," among other denizens of this album, and enjoy an interesting half-hour.

Track Listing: The Clown Chemist; The Spinning Top Stood Still; Paul Platypus; Minor Leaguer; Nine Piglets; Strange Jim and the Zebra; Morning; Inside the Outside Interlude; Flow; Uncle Muskrat; Outside the Inside Outro.

Personnel: Daniel Bennett: alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, piano; Nat Janoff: electric guitar; Eddy Khaimovich: electric and acoustic bass; Matthew Feick: drums; Jason Yeager: piano; Britt Melewski: spoken word.

Title: The Mystery at Clown Castle | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Manhattan Daylight Media Group

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