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Bopitude - Liner Notes

As a student of music, I appreciate all the styles that have been included under the umbrella of the American classical music that we call “jazz”. But, as with most jazz musicians, there are certain styles that I have come to know and love and consider “my” kind of jazz. Musically speaking, I always felt as though I was born a generation late. In 1957, the year I was born, the music that I have come to know and love was happening. If only I was 18 years old in 1957.

This album is dedicated to a style of jazz called “Hard Bop”. Unlike many musicians, I appreciate categories. It helps me identify and study the music. Hard Bop was a natural extension of “Bebop”, the style of mainly small group jazz that developed after the close of World War II. Bebop was a radical departure from the Swing Era that had been so prevalent in the 1940’s. Hard Bop was a natural “next phase”. (after the death of Charlie “Bird” Parker.)

The music contained on this recording features original arrangements of tunes that are primarily from the Hard Bop era. Included on this recording are flagship songs like Moanin’ and Joy Spring as well as lesser known tunes like B for BB and Alter Ego. I also found a tune from this time period at the last minute called Circulation by Gary McFarland that fit beautifully on this album.

One of the dangers of doing a recording from a particular time period is that to the casual listener and even professional musician, the music can start to sound all the same. On this recording, I believe that this problem has been bypassed. You will find a real variety of tempos, styles, melodies and chord changes included here. You will also find that even in doing the original arrangements that our interpretation and soloing is all our own, allowing all of our personalities to shine through. Isn’t that what jazz is all about?



Michael Benedict plays and endorses Drumsticks