bill bodkin reviews the latest from the top notch tickler of the ivories…
When you think of a pianist images of aging men in a long-tailed tuxedos in front of a high society crowd that has filled an opera house might come to mind.
However, when you listen to the Jersey-born and Brooklyn-based pianist/organist/mad scientist of sound Marco Benevento, this image isn’t just shattered — the shards of that image are taken, melted down and completely recreated into something unique, beautiful and evocative.
On his latest record, Tigerface, Benevento is able to deftly weave a soundscape that is both whimsical and wondrous. The strongest tracks on the album are the instrumental pieces where Benevento is able to take electronic and synth elements and blend them with the classic piano and organ foundation Benevento develops in each track.
What’s crazy about this record is that Benevento is able to take key-based instruments and make them so enchanting — it’s kind of like what metalheads have experienced for the past few decades with the likes of Steve Vai. Listeners are treated to a virtuoso performance that transcends the instrument, where the overall sound, which is built around an instrument, and turns them into the driving force of a musical story. It’s as if Benevento is the Pied Piper, tickling the ivories and leasing us down a rabbit hole of psychedelic euphoria.
If you’re looking to discover how a modern day pianist/organist creates dynamic, modern and relevant music, then you must pick up a copy of Tigerface.