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Marco Benevento - Live At Tonic

marco benevento live at tonic
Marco Benevento - Live At Tonic
(3xCD) Ropeadope Records, 2007-08-07

Featuring Mike Gordon (Phish); Dave Dreiwitz (Ween); Claude Coleman (Ween); Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob); Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos); Reed Mathis (JFJO); Joe Russo (Benevento/Russo Duo); Bobby Previte (Cotw); Mike Dillon (Les Claypool); Brad Barr (The Slip) And Scott Metzger (Rana).

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Press Release :
A Three CD Set Documenting A Month Long Residency At The Late Great NYC Music Mecca, Tonic.

Marco Benevento is best known as one half of the Benevento/Russo Duo, the acclaimed instrumental indie rock, post jazz experimentalists, who've earned a legion of fans performing at high profile events like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Fuji Rock Festival and Bonnaroo, while drawing rave reviews at publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork. Holding court behind a dizzying array of vintage keyboards, upright and toy pianos, pedals, samplers and other circuit bent gadgets, Benevento has established a reputation as one of the most visionary young keyboardists to emerge in the last decade.

Beyond all the accolades and hype, however, is a supremely-inspired, ever-curious 29-year old artist whose spirit remains rooted in the musicians he studied under and played alongside when first starting out; teachers like Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Brad Mehldau and Joanne Brackeen and band-mates like Bob Moses, Ari Hoeing, Terreon Gully, Adam Dietch and DJ Olive. It's exactly that innocent childlike desire to play the piano and unbridled passion for musical exploration which led Benevento to set up shop every Wednesday in November 2006 for a residency at Tonic, the recently shuttered New York City improvisational music Mecca.

"For these shows, I decided I was going to invite some of my closest friends along to play and we'd just let the music go where it wanted. I've always thought that if you think too much about something, there winds up being this hesitation that throws the whole 'universal timing' balance off. With improvised music you want to let the music play you, so that's the approach we took," explains Benevento. "When you think of an improvised performance as 'something you don't play' you may wind up with a better mind set. That concept paired with the fact that my friends are my biggest musical inspiration, completely allowed the music to come to life. The entire month of November is a brilliant memory."

Inspired by Ropeadope's recent release Christian McBride ("Live at Tonic"), Benevento invited his old friend Andy Hurwitz (Ropeadope label boss) along to document the proceedings. Alternating between group and solo performance, Benevento played two sets a night and was joined by a different cast of musical co-conspirators for each show. The line-ups included a trio with bassist Reed Mathis and drummer Matt Chamberlain, a duo with bassist Mike Gordon, a drum group with percussionists Bobby Previte, Mike Dillon and Joe Russo and a free play quartet with trumpeter Steven Bernstein, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Claude Coleman. The repertoire, while always based in improvisation (including a number of pieces created on the spot), drew from Benevento's own compositions, as well as, classics ranging from Pink Floyd's "Fearless" to Benny Goodman's "Moonglow" to Leonard Cohen's "Seems So Long Ago Nancy" to Thelonious Monk's "Bye Ya".

The highlights will be released August 7 by Ropeadope on three discs of wide-eyed, daringly fierce and cosmically joyous music entitled "Marco Benevento: Live At Tonic".


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banzai banzai ·  27 July 2007, 16:01

This record is up for presale now at ropeadope...

Callie Callie ·  30 July 2007, 17:42

I'm not sure how many people saw this, but Live at Tonic is available on ropeadope records store for presale. The first 50 are signed, plus they ship the cd out a week before the release. Just thought I'd let you all know!

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