A Few Minutes With… Marco Benevento

November 29th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg

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:

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INTERVIEW: Marco Benevento

October 20th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Marco Benevento (photo by Michael Benevento)

Marco Benevento (photo by Michael Benevento)

If there is a soundtrack for feeling happy, Marco Benevento wrote it. That’s evident on Benevento’s third studio album, “Between the Needles and Nightfall” on the Royal Potato Family label. His exuberant live shows often inspire wild dancing, not something necessarily associated with the piano.

Benevento says, “I was influenced by certain records when recording, namely the German band Can. Two songs off the new album – ‘Greenpoint’ and ‘RISD’ – were reminiscent of dance tunes with one repeating thing. They reach out into a more dance-oriented, upbeat instrumental rock sound versus a piano-led rock-jazz kind of thing. More like a David Byrne/Talking Heads style, but, of course, in a different manner, with loop writing.

“We recorded the new album in three days with post-production at my studio. Tracking with the band is easy. We try out new ideas – adding keyboards and mess around with it with drum loops and create arrangements that way. It’s a real fun way to track it, layering it with effects, and perfecting each track. The band trusts that it is going into the hands of the person who has the vision.”

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Five Firsts: Marco Benevento

October 18th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Marco Benevento (photo by Michael Weintrob)

Marco Benevento (photo by Michael Weintrob)

Name: Marco Benevento
BAND AFFILIATION: The Marco Benevento Trio
Instrument: Keyboards

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet.”

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