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The Legend of Bear Thompson by The Daniel Bennett Group

The Daniel Bennett Group consists of saxophonist Daniel Bennett, guitarist Brant Grieshaber and percussionist Sean Jefferson. Together, the three Boston-area musicians perform original music with an exotic flair. Bennett's light-as-air approach on alto sax and flute and Grieshaber's percussive acoustic guitar rhythms give the music on The Legend of Bear Thompson a folk-meets-jazz character. The disc's eight tracks, composed by Bennett, follow a pattern of hushed rhythmic intensity and bold melodic statements. The entire session, a mere twenty-five minutes long, bursts forth with an uninterrupted flow.

The pentatonic theme on "Lunta" and the odd-metered prowl of "The Hills of Beijing" contrasts nicely with the energetic dance pulse of "Geronimo." Tunes such as "Bear Club" and "Andrew" utilize lyrical themes and hypnotic rhythmic loops as launch pads for Bennett’s soaring improvisations. Grieshaber displays impressive control and classical-inspired technique on "Paint the Fence," a solo guitar feature. The Spanish-flavored 7/4 groove of "Adobe" showcases Jefferson's commanding pulse. Here, the otherwise subtle percussionist bursts through with moments of spontaneous energy. The solo saxophone title track closes the disc with a minimalist trance of swirling arpeggios. All in all, The Legend of Bear Thompson contains a myriad of fresh, accessible sounds uninhibited by traditional expectations.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Daniel Bennett Group
  • CD Title: The Legend of Bear Thompson
  • Genre: Folk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Bennett Alliance Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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