Interview and story by J Hunter
In an interview on BBC’s “Jonathan Ross Show,” Laurence Fishburne was asked why he doesn’t do martial arts any more. Fishburne’s answer was quite simple: “Because I’m old… It hurts!” I tend to avoid shows in “stand-up” nightclubs for exactly the same reason. And yet, there I was last October at Red Square, pounding on the wall next to the stage as Marco Benevento’s trio lifted the building higher and higher. The pain shooting up my back told me my chiropractor was definitely going to make his car payment that month, but I just DID… NOT… CARE! All I wanted was more of what I was getting, and the people stuffed into Red Square’s back-room concert space were on the same page as me.
Mind you, this was a piano trio I was watching – you know, the kind of group Vince Guaraldi used on the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”? And yet, the waves of energy and electricity that flowed off that stage left me completely gobsmacked. I’d seen the Ramones at their height, Peter Gabriel before he had hits of his own, and the Boomtown Rats before Bob Geldof got knighted, and those are the only times I could remember being exposed to that much raw power; the dual streams of intelligence and humor that came with this particular brand of power kept me glued to the side of the stage, spinal cord be damned!
I learned long ago not to expect my live experiences to translate to a band’s studio recordings, but Benevento’s new disc TigerFace leapfrogs those expectations without breaking a sweat. There are many reasons for this, and you can read about them here. And since Benevento is bringing his trio back to Red Square this Saturday night (December 1), I spoke with him for a few minutes about TigerFace, live shows and the studio where one of the most famous albums ever recorded was made: