Daniel Bennett Group – Peace And Stability Among Bears (2011)

Daniel Bennett is a saxophone, clarinet and flute player in Manhattan, but he’s not like any jazz horn player out of NYC. And the reason for that is because what he plays is just as much not jazz as it is jazz. Blending in heaping helpings of folk and some world fusion, Bennett leads a quartet that plays music much closer to Oregon than NYC. Oregon, the band, that is. Augmented by guitarist Chris Hersch, bassist Jason Davis and drummer Rick Landwehr, the DBG create melodies that are light, circular (you could even say, minimal) and have a flow that’s as natural as a brook after a rain. There are no pressure-packed moments and even when the music goes at a brisk pace, the mood is relaxed. Highlights include “Ghost” (starting about 1:10 into the video below), “The Local Sheriff” and a couple of surprises: the countrified jazz of “Arizona” and trance-funk but still folky “Bears In A Covered Wagon.” Which goes to show, even by performing jazz that’s as diametrically opposed to most of the jazz of the Downtown scene, Daniel Bennett and his cohorts can be just as unpredictable and creative.

Peace And Stability Among Bears was self-released last April. Visit The Daniel Bennett Group’s website.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.