Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daniel Bennett Group, Clockhead Goes to Camp

The Daniel Bennett Group is transforming, but from what to what? The somewhat quirky originality of the band's music, written by Daniel, is the source of the what. Their new one, Clockhead Goes to Camp (Manhattan Daylight Media 010), has almost a Baltic dance feel to it, with the sometimes irregular meters and handclaps emphasizing the irregular beat-centers. Beyond that it is melodically straightforward and appealing. These are tuneful tunes. The band gets into them with zest and a distinctive personality. Bennett himself plays some quite nice alto, flute and clarinet here, jazzed but also working within the modal-diatonic frameworks as appropriate, outside of that when it seems appropriate. Mark Cochea plays a somewhat pure-toned electric guitar with a hint of early-to-mid '60s rock. And he solos with a disarming post-Methany tastefulness.

The rhythm team has a good churning straight-eight variability going, Peter Brender on contrabass playing around the song structures with a nice sound, drummer Tyson Stubelek getting lucid in an almost post-surf village mode.

There's one vocal that has digital pitch robotocizing. And it fits in fine here where elsewhere it might not. For the rest this is original music that has a very likable way about it. It's a kind of folk-jazz if you want a label. And it is well worth some ear-time. The album is out now as a download, shortly as a CD.

For a short video about Daniel, his band and the new CD go to this You Tube address:

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