Over the past (almost) six years or so, Marco Benevento has developed a reputation as an critically acclaimed jazz/jazz fusion/free jazz/experimental jazz/post-rock and jam band pianist and composer, who has collaborated with an impressive and renowned array of musicians and performers including Rubblebucket‘s Kalmia Traver, Soulive, Skerik, Mike Dillon and others. And interestingly enough, Benevento has long been a JOVM mainstay artist, who I’ve written about quite a bit over the years. In fact, I’ve mentioned on at least one occasion that I love 2010’s Between the Needles and the Nightfall, which features a witty and playful instrumental rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good,” which channels the wit and playfulness of the legendary Thelonious Monk. And his collaboration with Skerik and Mike Dillon — Garage A Trois — is an impressive work that channels the rock-based jazz fusion of Return to Forever, Weather Report and others.
Benevento’s latest effort The Story of Fred Short is slated for an April 2016 release through renowned experimental jazz and rock label Royal Potato Family — and interestingly “Dropkick,” the first single off the album reveals an artist, who has been relentlessly experimenting and expanding upon his sound as the single sonically seems to draw from cosmic dub, swing-era jazz, pop and 60s psych rock as swirling and undulating electronics, keyboards played through effects pedals are paired with driving rhythms and Benevento’s lilting and ethereal vocals. Interestingly, not only is the second time in Benevento’s career that he took up vocal duties on a song, it’s also the first time that the pianist and composer has specifically written guitar parts — in this case for his friend and former bandmate Brad Barr (The Barr Brothers, The Slip) — in any of his compositions. Sonically, the song bears an uncanny resemblance to Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd — in particular “Money” and “Any Colour You Like” but more closely aligned to Easy Star All Stars‘ Dub Side of the Moon.
The recently released and very surreal music video features Marco Benevento and Amy Hood flirting and dancing together — sometimes Benevento is in a giant, tiger mask; however, things take a turn for the extremely dark turn as a gun and some torture is involved — while managing to still be kind of playful.
Benevento and his backing band featuring bassist Dave Dreiwtiz (Ween) and drummer Andy Borger (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) will be touring throughout March and April to build up buzz for the album and then to support it after its release, and it includes an NYC area stop. Check out tour dates below.
March 18 – Boulder, CO – The Fox Theatre
March 19 – Denver, CO – Cervante’s Other Side
March 20 – Crested Butte, CO – Center For The Arts
March 31 – San Diego, CA – Winston’s
April 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Bootleg
April 2 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
April 3 – Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley
April 6 – Arcata, CA – HumBrews
April 7 – Cottage Grove, OR – Axe & Fiddle
April 8 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
April 9 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
April 14 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
April 15 – Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
April 16 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 2-4 – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Festival