Marco Benevento - Invisible Baby
Marco Benevento - Invisible Baby
(CD) Hyena Records, 2008-02-12
Marco Benevento's debut studio album Invisible Baby was released this past Tuesday. If we don't say so ourselves, it's hands down one of the best records to come out in the first half of in 2008. Marco is joined by Reed Mathis on bass and Matt Chamberlain and Andrew Barr on drums. Pick up a copy here and now!
Here's some of the nice stuff that's being said...
"The new Benevento record will appeal to fans of Thelonious Monk, Air, Radiohead and Phish...tunes like 'Bus Ride' and 'Are You The Favorite Person Of Anybody' are ambient soundscapes winking at the psychedelic." - New York Press
"Benevento is something of an iconoclast on the piano. He knows his Monk and his Basie, but he prefers to play like a rock star, bashing power chords into the ivories and hooking up with others who straddle the rock-jazz line. Is it jazz? Is it rock? Hard to say, but it hardly matters." - The Boston Globe
"Invisible Baby is an eight track masterpiece." - The Late Greats
"Invisible Baby will twist your synapses, feed your head, and turn on your love light. It will, in short, make you feel glad to be alive." - All About Jazz
01. Bus Ride
02. Record Book
03. Atari | Download MP3
04. The Real Morning Party | Download MP3
05. You Must Be A Lion
06. If You Keep On Asking Me
08. Are You The Favorite Person Of Anybody? | Download MP3
Note : features Matt Chamberlain (Fiona Apple, Tori Amos) and Andrew Barr (The Slip) on drums, and Reed Mathis (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) on bass.
Watch videos on hyenarecords.com/marcobenevento/promo
Official Duo page on facebook.com
Also, Duo Fan Community page on Facebook: facebook.com
Promotional video on youtube.com/watch?v=1SXLw7nJXgQ
Benevento, Russo, Mike Dillon and Bobby Previte "Gimme Some" Lovin on youtube.com/watch?v=ziFA9y52pA4
Press Release :
Marco Benevento is riding a creative surge. Case in point is the 30-year old keyboardist's debut studio album Invisible Baby, scheduled for release February 12 on HYENA Records. The collection proves Benevento a sonic innovator in peak form, defying boundaries and blasting through genres to carve out his own universe. Invisible Baby was recorded in a trio configuration with Benevento joined by bassist Reed Mathis (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) and drummers Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos) and Andrew Barr (The Slip). Having earned a multitude of young fans and critical acclaim for his visionary electric keyboard work as one half of post rock instrumentalists The Benevento/Russo Duo, here Benevento utilizes acoustic piano as his main voice. His instincts, however, for arranging sound in fresh and unexpected ways remain firmly intact. On Invisible Baby's eight original compositions, Benevento runs his piano through projector amps and Leslie speakers, coloring the tracks with Mellotron, Speak N Spell, banjo, a vintage church pump organ and all sorts of circuit bent toys which have become his trademark.
"When I came to NYC in 2001, my plan was to make a trio record. I studied with Joanne Brackeen, Kenny Werner and Brad Mehldau. I hung with Mehldau and listened to Largo unmixed and mastered at his house in 2001 while I was studying with him, " says Benevento. "I played two to three gigs a day in NYC, did the jam sessions and played with some incredible NYC musicians. For me this album fulfills something that I've wanted to do since I moved here."
Invisible Baby's highlights include "Bus Ride, " which unfolds around a hypnotic banjo figure played by Marco Benevento. There's a majestic drama to the performance that's punctuated by Reed Mathis' distorted bass chords and Matt Chamberlain's four to the floor, big beat. "Record Book" is an elegant gem, defined by understatement and restraint. Where the listener might expect the piece to crest, Benevento pulls back opting instead for impressionism. If there were still instrumental hit singles, "The Real Morning Party" would be Benevento's "Green Onions, " "Grazin' In The Grass" or "Rockit." It's a quirky, feel-good jam with an instantly infectious melody. Simultaneously, it's one of the album's best headphone tracks. The melody is played on a Farfisa Fast 2 with a warm blanket of combo organs, Wurlitzer and percussion (including Andrew Barr playing brake pads and silver salad bowl). The gorgeous composition "Ruby, " named after Benevento's baby daughter, came to him in a dream before she was born. As he explains, "What moved me to write this song was the part in my dream when she fell asleep in my arms. I tried to make that mental space last. Also, the circuit bent toys are sort of twisted, but reminiscent of childhood." "Are You The Favorite Person Of Anybody" takes a jazz trio's approach to exploring the aural and emotional territory of a band like Radiohead. Its melody floats on a warbling bed of Mellotron, gradually gaining momentum and falling away before the trio works itself into an intense crescendo.
Marco Benevento's career as a solo artist began almost unintentionally. During down time from touring with The Duo in 2006, his manager suggested he set up a residency at the late great improvisational music venue Tonic in New York City. Those five nights in November featured collaborations with a long list of Benevento's musical friends such as Mike Gordon (Phish), Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob), Claude Coleman (Ween) and Mike Dillon (Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle) among a host of others. At the eleventh hour, Ropeadope decided to document the residency, releasing it as the 3-CD set Live At Tonic. This in turn led Marco to form his own trio for a string of sold out US shows on both coasts. At the time of those performances, drummer Matt Chamberlain suggested they take the band into the studio. It was a spur of the moment decision that would ultimately lead to the recording of Invisible Baby. The sessions were split between Avast! in Seattle, WA with engineer Mell Detmar and Trout Studios in Brooklyn, NY with Bryce Goggin behind the boards. All of the tracking was done to analog tape.
Marco Benevento will launch Invisible Baby with a January 2008 residency at Sullivan Hall in New York City. The shows are scheduled for January 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. Special guest those nights will include among others Stanton Moore, G. Calvin Weston, Billy Martin, Skerik, Brad Barr, Joe Russo and Bobby Previte. The final night of the residency will represent the album release party featuring the core east coast trio with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr.
Marco Benevento talks about Invisible Baby track by track…
1. Bus Ride
"My banjo debut!!! Actually, Trey Anastasio wrote that line (on the guitar) on the bus during the summer of the 2006 tour. Most every night I hibernated in my bunk, tossed my headphones on and fooled around with Logic and wrote ideas into my laptop (that I bought from Charlie Hunter, actually). It seemed as if the song was telling me to be called 'Bus Ride.' I like when songs do that."
2. Record Book
"The germ of this song I wrote in the summer of '05. GE almost used it in there commercial for their alternative energy campaign. I like the difference between this version and the one on Live At Tonic. This version on Invisible Baby is a lot more true to the original idea of the song, mellow and pensive...where you can almost here what the words can be."
"I wrote this one in a hotel room in Atlanta, GA. My purpose when I sat down to record that particular day was to compose AFTER I found a sound that truly made me tingle inside. The version of 'Atari' on my website is the version with those sounds on there. It's important to center your focus and move forward with comfort AFTER you have created a sound that moves you/inspires you."
4. The Real Morning Party
"I wrote this in the Van on a Duo tour. It started in Lawrence, KS. and ended in......who knows where. It was a total joke, stuck in my head, laughin' out loud, smilin', thinking how fun and crazy it is to be on the road sooooooo much... I actually erased the tracks, but kept the Mp3 version just cause it was so ridiculous. Well it turns out that EVERYONE of my family members, and most of my friends, loved the tune, so tracking it that day was a BLAST! Andrew uses silver salad bowls on his hi-hat and at the end he uses car parts (brakes) to make that loud drum sound. Of course, the double-drum/Keith Moon-esque solo at the end freaks me out every time!"
5. You Must Be A Lion
"Yes, the original version is with those lyrics 'you must be a lion' which is what you can sing/hear in your head when the verse comes along. Even though it is instrumental music you can still here the 'verse,' which is a great thing. I love instrumental music because the listener can paint their own picture, and create their own image. I think instrumental music is very interactive, maybe more so, than music with words. It's like a 'choose your own adventure' book. This tune really shows Matt's unique and totally original drum skills."
6. If You Keep On Asking Me
"The haunting, annoying, droning melody of this tune, yeah, it's like the song that represents being slightly annoyed, and focused at the same time. I used a 'Bryce Goggin' original technique for creating that echo on the piano. It's a tape secret. I used a circuit bent Casio, reverse piano, and lots of OLD gigantic spring reverbs to create that psychedelic intro. I love the pace of this tune. It's a lot different than the other fast-paced moving tunes. I also love the bridge."
"My first dream about Ruby (my daughter) I had BEFORE she was born was comforting and very vivid. Mainly, what moved me to write this song was the part in my dream when she fell asleep in my arms. I tried to make that mental space last while driving to Chicago on a tour, and I wrote this tune in the van. Any time I questioned where to go musically I would conjure up that feeling, in my dream, that feeling of your own child falling asleep in your arms, and it would always help my go to the next part. Andrew plays amazing on ballads! Also the circuit bent toys are sort of twisted, but reminiscent of childhood too. This tune was on Live At Tonic called 'The Arrival Of Greatness.'"
8. Are You The Favorite Person Of Anybody?
"A title taken directly from one of my most favorite short moviemakers, 'Wholphin.' Check it out! Every time I hear this tune, I always think it's my favorite song on the album. Why did I put it last? Well, I hope we'll leave the people wanting more. MELLOTRON!!!! The impact of the spooky, wobbly, strings, makes the tune! The piano through an old projector amp also adds to the color!"