Dec 4, 2017
Dave Bennett’s first album for the Mack Avenue label, Don’t Be That Way, established the clarinetist as a talented throwback, the kind of player who could still get you excited to hear “Sing. Sing, Sing” for the umpteenth time. A great entertainer, where he shows his prowess on guitar and piano, Bennett still had to show me that he could do more than bring swing into the 21st century.
Blood Moon, his latest release, does just that, and more. More than half of the CD is made up of Bennett compositions, written with his long-time arranger Shelly Berger. They range from the moody “Heavy Heart” and the title track to the delightful Nawlins infused “Down in Honky Tonk Town”, they show Bennett stretching himself, and becoming a more fully rounded artist. His covers are of tunes that are all too often recorded – did we really need another “Hallelujah”, even if there hadn’t been one for clarinet? Nevertheless, he and his band find a way to make even “In My Life” fresh.
Podcast 601 is my conversation with Dave, as we talk about the new CD, the audience he has developed, and how he came to love swing music. Musical selections from Blood Moon the title track, “Heavy Heart,” “Down in Honky Tonk Town,” and “In My Life.”