The Jeff Benedict Big Big Band: “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful”
The Jeff Benedict Big Big Band: “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful” – The album’s title shows the playful nature of this band, and the disc contains some fun original material as well as covers of some popular and beloved songs. The disc opens with an original number titled “Moonscape,” a piece with a groovy bass line at its center, and with some exciting work from the horn section, building to a powerful conclusion. The band then digs into a good rendition of Miles Davis’ “Nardis,” which features a great lead by Jeff Hellmer on piano, followed by some excellent work by Jeff Benedict on alto saxophone. “The Fotomat Song (Someday My Prints Will Come)” is a play on “Someday My Prince Will Come,” written by Frank Churchill for Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. This new big band arrangement is by Jeff Benedict, and it features a good lead by Paul McKee on trombone. Of course, people in their twenties have absolutely no idea what it’s like to drop off a roll of film and wait to see how the photos come out, and the joke may be lost on them. But no matter, as the pleasure of the music shouldn’t be lost on anyone. The album’s title track, “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful,” is an original piece by Jeff Benedict, and is a vibrant and dramatic number that moves at a good clip and features an excellent lead on saxophone. One of my personal favorites is “Armadillo Research,” another original number with a playful title, this one with a cool and catchy groove. Another highlight for me is the totally wonderful rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Cheek To Cheek,” which features a delightful introduction and a whole lot of joyful playing. Then the rhythm of “The Mighty Dollar” might get you dancing and shaking, and the album concludes with a funky and seriously fun number certain to get you moving. This album is scheduled to be released on January 15, 2021.