- Poise In Crisis
think you know all good smooth jazz musicians. Cal Bennett's new album
"Poise In Crisis" critically reminds me to continue my
quest. Cal has toured with Niki Haris, Carl Anderson and recorded with
Ice Cube and served as musical director for Toni Braxton on The
Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He also played and recorded with Stevie
Wonder, Dionne Warwick and Donna Summer. One can draw conclusions and
regard Cal as a professional musician. Besides this his new album
"Poise In Crisis" is nothing than a masterpiece.
The album starts
with Yoruba Healing. "The
rhythms and forms of Yoruba religion are said to be fundamental to the
development of many forms of African American music from gospel to
blues and jazz, and to musical forms such as Salsa and Latin
Jazz", comments Cal. Yoruba Healing's rhythm is the pulse of
Africa and Cal's sax the voice. This is ultra funky stuff with a
snappy power of groove. Oliver Brown (percussion) and Raymond Calhoun
(drums) are creating with Cal (programming) a fantastic irresistible rhythm
tapestry. Cal 's staccato sax sets brilliant accents.
One I Love is a slowtempo urban tune. The keyboard tones
fall like raindrops. Based on a hip hop rhythm Cal generates a smooth
intriguing melody with great emphasis.
I like this funky
complex rhythm I already heard by groups such as Loose Ends, Soul II
Soul or Pressure Drop. So You Say (And It Is)
has this certain kickin' groove and Cal's sax is the high end of
In Your Heart is featuring singer Rob McDonald. Rob has
performed with artists such as Lincoln Adler ("The Dream")
and Rain-Bo Tribe ("What They Don't Tell You"). This slow
tune let you concentrate on Cal's sax inspired melody.
Has A Master Plan was, in its original form, an extended
32-minute distillation of its authors' musical and cultural ideas. It
first appeared on Pharaoh Sanders' 1969 album "Karma", with
co-author Thomas on vocals, keyboard player Lonnie Liston Smith,
flautist James Spaulding, french-horn player Julius Watkins, Reggie
Workman on bass, second bassist Richard Davis, drummer Billy Hart and
percussionist Nathaniel Bettis. Cal transforms this song into a hip
hop driven tune featuring Rob McDonald's raw vocals. A magic voyage
is based on the principle of hip hop rhythm and jazz improvisations.
Cal's piano solo is remarkable.
If you like the fretless bass, Indian Summer-
ycbmp can be your favorite. Freaky Davis is the
bassist. Like most of the other tunes Cal's arrangement is perfect.
And the best news we can await new albums soon.
If you are doubting that Cal is a
jazz musician, Bubble will
convince you. His improvisation potential is breathtaking and
mesmerizing. This time we can listen to Freaky Davis on upright bass.
Ok, that's the contribution for jazz critics.
Cal is not only a sax player but also
an impressive flutist and keyboardist. In the style of Herbie Mann he
is fluently unwinding As Is.
You is engraved by a cosmic keyboard sound. My impression:
Cal is recording most of the songs in instrumental layers. Final
instrument is his leading sax. I would like some more interaction
between the artists.
be a good example for this
live feeling although I suppose most of the part is make in the
overdubbing procedure. David Scott's wah-wah-guitar turns the piece in
a new direction. Very propulsive: Raymond Calhoun's drums.
The final Give
It has a continuous
rhythm loop with a creaking sound. Although I would regard it as a
deficit Cal knows to satisfy our taste with a lot of ideas overdubbed
on this simple rhythm.
A comparison of his
new album to his previous albums is allowed. My conclusion: Cal is
creative and incalculable like a chameleon. That makes me curious
about his next albums. Certainly he will surprise me. The best a
musician can do.