BENITO GONZALEZ, CIRCLES


Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez’ tunes have an intentional 1960’s jazz feel – he simply likes the music from that time – but his inspiration sounds all his own. An intense musician with a keen ear for composition and flow, Gonzalez employs a tested jazz crew – Jeff “Tain’ Watts on drums, bassist Christian McBride and saxophone players Myron Walden, Ron Blake and Azar Lawrence – on eight righteous neo-bop numbers and a sole cover of McCoy Tyner’s percussive “Blue On The Corner.” Tunes like “Circles” and “Taurus” play like a series a fastball pitches where every player connects and shares the leader’s unbridled passion. An affecting tribute to drummer Elvin Jones (“Elvin’s Sight”) generates a serious groove and cleverly reconciles the past/present thing that Gonzalez is after. Hard driving but still tuneful, “Circles” is fueled by Gonzalez’ abundant talent and solid faith in the expansive power of his awesomely talented band. (12 tracks; 72:37 minutes)
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: BENITO GONZALEZ, CIRCLES

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BENITO GONZALEZ, CIRCLES


Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez’ tunes have an intentional 1960’s jazz feel – he simply likes the music from that time – but his inspiration sounds all his own. An intense musician with a keen ear for composition and flow, Gonzalez employs a tested jazz crew – Jeff “Tain’ Watts on drums, bassist Christian McBride and saxophone players Myron Walden, Ron Blake and Azar Lawrence – on eight righteous neo-bop numbers and a sole cover of McCoy Tyner’s percussive “Blue On The Corner.” Tunes like “Circles” and “Taurus” play like a series a fastball pitches where every player connects and shares the leader’s unbridled passion. An affecting tribute to drummer Elvin Jones (“Elvin’s Sight”) generates a serious groove and cleverly reconciles the past/present thing that Gonzalez is after. Hard driving but still tuneful, “Circles” is fueled by Gonzalez’ abundant talent and solid faith in the expansive power of his awesomely talented band. (12 tracks; 72:37 minutes)
   

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