Dave Bennett Performs October 4-7 At Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Support of New Album,”Blood Moon”
Dave Bennett / clarinet
Cliff Monear / piano
Jeff Pedraz / bass
Pete Siers / drums
Wednesday, October 4 –
Saturday, October 7
Performances at 6:00 & 8:30PM
Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe
97 Kercheval Ave
Grosse Point Farms, MI 48236
Dave Bennett is set to perform at Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe on Wednesday, October 4 through Saturday, October 7 with sets at 6:00 and 8:30PM in support of his new album, Blood Moon (available October 20 on Mack Avenue Records). Bennett will be joined by pianist Cliff Monear, bassist Jeff Pedraz and drummer Pete Siers.
A “blood moon” is a natural phenomenon that evokes a sense of foreboding yet captivating wonderment. However, the moon eventually returns to its natural state, shedding its reddish hues back to normalcy. Clarinetist Dave Bennett has not returned to normalcy and neither has his music. Blood Moon, Bennett’s sophomore release for Mack Avenue Records, is a dark and reflective collection that deals with loss, heartbreak, and ultimately a return to faith and hope.
“During the period of establishing what this new album’s direction was going to be–pop? gospel?–I spoke with Mack Avenue’s president who said, ‘Why don’t you do your own stuff?’ That gave me the confidence to finally sit down and create my own songs for this record,” says Bennett. Blood Moon finds Bennett bravely exploring this new terrain of original music, as he draws on influences from Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Genesis. “I tend to feel emotions somewhat magnified…whether good or bad,” he says. “I’m very thankful I was given this chance to create something of my own, to share my own stories. I’ve always admired how Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel could write songs that people could relate to on a deeply emotional level. Even though I’ve written instrumental music, as opposed to lyrical songs, I hope and pray the listener might find solace in the music we created.”
To co-write five original songs, Bennett teamed up with Toronto-based composer, arranger and bassist Shelly Berger. The two met in 2010 through a mutual friend and instantly discovered their common sensibilities. “We both have a great love for all styles of music, especially pop,” Bennett says. “We wanted to come up with something that hasn’t been done before. Something original. It was really a dream come true working with him.”
Berger provided the arrangements for Don’t Be That Way, Bennett’s 2013 Mack Avenue debut. For Blood Moon, they embarked on a much closer collaboration. The songs were created through an intensive period of experimentation with Bennett on the clarinet, Berger at the keyboard, and a recording machine. The end result was over 15 hours of spontaneous invention. “Writing your own music can be kind of nerve-wracking,” Bennett admits. “When you play standards or songs that are already hits, you know those are good songs. That’s half the battle. When you’re trying to find your own thing, it can be a little scary.”
The nerves don’t show anywhere on the album, which was recorded in Toronto with a band assembled for the occasion by Berger. Bennett made the drive with his longtime drummer,
Pete Siers, but met the rest of the ensemble–pianist Dave Restivo, guitarist Reg Schwager, bassist Jim Vivian and percussionist Davide DiRenzo–for the first time on the day of the session. This group of musicians gelled quickly, and the final product sounds as if it were made by a band with a long history and deeply-attuned chemistry.
About Dave Bennett:
A multi-instrument phenomenon, Bennett is a clarinet virtuoso who also plays electric guitar, piano, drums and sings. Entirely self-taught, he began playing along with Benny Goodman records at age 10, and by 12 he was invited by legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham to the bandstand of New York’s famous Sweet Basil jazz club. Leading his tribute to Benny Goodman, Bennett has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops and has played the program with 50 other US and Canadian orchestras. An annual fixture at a dozen American music festivals, his “Rockin’ the ’50s” show always brings down the house, while his “Swing to Rock” Symphony Pops program premiered in 2016 with The Kingston Symphony Orchestra. Blood Moon is his follow up to the 2013 Mack Avenue release, Don’t Be That Way.