It is hit or miss with Benjie Porecki’s latest CD, "The Rest of My Life." Porecki clearly is a talented keyboardist who leaps between organ and piano on this outing. While he has great affinity for a wide range of music including rock, soul, reggae, funk and jazz, the execution of the pieces run the gamut between brilliance and banality. Porecki needs to edit what works and shuck the rest.
An illustration of this might be the Eagles’ hit, "Desperado." This familiar tune is transformed from a Southern California fantasy into gospel-tinged, down-home revival that reeks of sweat and tobacco and magnolia trees. The duet of the soul-grinding organ and the cool-tipped piano is magnificent. As a whole, "Desperado" bears little resemblance to the Eagles’ hit. On the other hand, Porecki tries his hands at Bob Marley’s "Burnin’ and Lootin’." Porecki can not capture anything close to the ferocity of Marley’s original. Porecki plays this too nice and too slick. You could almost imagine Porecki playing this at a poolside wedding reception with gleeful dancers with limbs akimbo oblivious to the outrage and rioting. He plays it pastel where it might have been played in sharp contrasts. Third World revolution is no cakewalk.
Some of the best-played pieces are those composed by Porecki. He provides wonderful depth and nuance on the swaying "Give You All My Love" or the swinging "Give of Yourself" or the gorgeous "The Rest of My Life." While there are some tracks that should have been reworked or replaced, Porecki has sufficient talent to work out the kinks during the rest of his musical life. Or maybe just hire an editor.