The Benoit/Freeman Project 2

The Benoit/Freeman Project 2

by Russ FreemanRuss Freeman




Creatively, David Benoit has had his ups and downs over the years. The pianist/keyboardist has recorded more than his share of forgettable smooth jazz albums, but he has also provided some decent straight-ahead discs that were greatly influenced by Bill Evans (the pianist, not the saxophonist). This 2004 release, however, doesn't fall into either category -- Benoit/Freeman Project 2, a collaboration with guitarist Russ Freeman, isn't straight-ahead acoustic jazz, but it isn't an album of mindless "elevator Muzak" either. For the most part, this CD could be described as "smooth jazz with a brain"; pop considerations are a high priority, but at the same time, jazz considerations (spontaneity and improvisation) are not ignored. Benoit/Freeman Project 2 tends to be meatier and more substantial than most of the smooth jazz/NAC releases that Benoit has been a part of, and one of the things that this album has going for it is a more organic production style. Benoit and Freeman, who produced the CD together, don't suffocate their material with excessive production -- this time, they're smart enough to let it breathe, and meaningful solos are encouraged rather than discouraged. Most of the tracks are instrumental; one of the exceptions is "Two Survivors," a likable adult contemporary tune that features singer Vince Gill. The country-pop star might seem an unlikely choice for a Benoit/Freeman encounter, but then, Gill was never a hardcore honky tonker à la Buck Owens, Johnny Cash or Lefty Frizzell -- Gill has often laced his country with big doses of pop, and he's quite appropriate for an AC tune like "Two Survivors." This album has a few throwaway tracks, but they're the exception instead of the rule -- and overall, Benoit/Freeman Project 2 is a cut above most of Benoit's other smooth jazz/NAC outings.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/22/2004
Label: Peak Records
UPC: 0013431852520
catalogNumber: 8525

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Russ Freeman   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Synthesizer Guitar,Classical Guitar
Peter Erskine   Drums,Musician
Jack Jezzro   Bass
David Angell   Violin
David Benoit   Piano,Conductor,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Chris Botti   Trumpet,Musician
Dave Carpenter   Bass,Musician
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums,Musician
Luis Conte   Percussion,Musician
David Davidson   Violin
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Vince Gill   Vocals,Musician
Carl Gorodetzky   Violin,Concert Master
Jim Grosjean   Viola
Byron House   Bass,Musician
Anthony LaMarchina   Cello
Lee Larrison   Violin
Nashville String Machine   Strings
David Pack   Vocals,Musician
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Bobby G. Taylor   Oboe
Alan Umstead   Violin
Catherine Umstead   Violin
Gary VanOsdale   Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kris Wilkinson   Viola
Carole Neuen-Rabinowitz   Cello
Cate Myer   Violin
Gerald Greer   Violin
Janet Askey   Violin
Carole Rabinowitz-Neuen   Cello
Jennifer Kummer   French Horn

Technical Credits

David Benoit   Composer,Producer,Contributor,Orchestral Arrangements,Audio Production
Clark Germain   Engineer
Mark Wexler   Executive Producer
Andi Howard   Executive Producer
Russ Freeman   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production

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