Artist/ Band: David Benoit
Title: Full Circle
Label: Peak Records
Year of Release: 2006
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

Legendary Pianist, Composer and Conductor, David Benoit has been a fixture in contemporary jazz for nearly three decades. His keyboard prowess earned him a spot in Russ Freeman’s early incarnation of the contemporary jazz ensemble ‘The Rippingtons’, which pioneered the format ‘Smooth Jazz’. His 29 year musical career has been a balancing act of jazz, pop, R&B, and classical compositions. In that creative span of time Benoit has recorded 25 solo albums, earned five Grammy nominations, performed at the White House for three sitting US Presidents, written several film scores for theatrical and made-for-TV movies, composed the theme for the popular daytime Soap Operas “All My Children” and “Sisters”, conducted for the likes of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra, and most important of all for the youngsters – he has been the man tickling the ivories on the Charlie Brown Specials these past ten years, recorded the 1985 hit “Linus And Lucy”, as well as the chart-topping Christmas CD “40 Years – A Charlie Brown Christmas”, a fitting tribute to composer Vince Guaraldi (the composer of the original Charlie Brown themes) and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.

Following the success of his classical recording “Orchestral Stories” and the Charlie Brown Christmas CD, Benoit has returned to his jazz roots with his new CD “Full Circle” on the Peak/Concord Record label. To capture the varied moods and textures of the compositions on “Full Circle” Benoit sought the talents of three equally legendary Producers - Jeffery Weber, Paul Brown, and Jeff Lorber. David Benoit surrounds himself with an ensemble of top notch musicians (drummer John Robinson, bassists Nathan East and Brian Bromberg, percussionists Luis Conte and Alex Acuna, and guitarists Oscar Castro-Neves, Pat Kelley and Paul Jackson Jr.), many of who have been with Benoit throughout his career. And what self-respecting smooth jazz recording would be without a smoky sax – and Benoit has fit the bill with the likes of Dan Higgings, Gary Meek, Andy Suzuki, and Euge Groove.

The music is a blend of energetic pop, smooth jazz, Latin, R&B, and retro funk. And although a majority of “Full Circle” consists of upbeat high energy jazz compositions, my personal favorites are the reflective easy listening tunes like “First Day Of School” and “Katrina; Little Bear” which one might categorize as adult contemporary. Fans of Piano-Based Contemporary Jazz will find “Full Circle” the perfect compliment to that early morning cup of coffee - a little something to get the juices flowing.

Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 8th, 2006


1 Cafe Rio (4:18)
2. First Day Of School (4:08)
3. Water To Beer (3:57)
4. Beat Street (4:15)
5. Six PM (4:39)
6. Chasing The Tides (4:52)
7. Neat With A Twist (5:16)
8. Katrina's Little Bear (3:47)
9. Yusuke The Ghost (3:36)
10. Monster In The Attic (4:36)

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