Adam Benjamin - Long Gone

KOB 10025

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  1. giant steps (john coltrane)
  2. don't talk (put your head on my shoulder) (brian wilson)
  3. head over heels (roland orzabal/curt smith)
  4. he's gone away (traditional)
  5. resignation (brad mehldau)
  6. willow weep for me (ann ronell)
  7. story from a stranger (pat metheny)
  8. ask me now (thelonious monk)
  9. broadway blues (ornette coleman)
  10. law years (ornette coleman)
  11. long gone

adam benjamin piano, rhodes

recorded at maxine studios, milan, april 2007

produced by maxine productions

kind of blue 10025

Solo piano means not having to say you’re sorry. There’s no one to answer to but the music. In my earliest musical memories I recall improvising for long periods of time as a young kid, imagining characters and scenes in my head, hearing our tiny spinet piano ringing out like a cathedral organ. I’ve learned much about the piano, and how one is supposed to play it, since then, but at the moments when my music works I still feel this childish, overwhelming sense of fun, and of personality, and of loss – the moment passed.

Recording this album in Milan made the experience doubly surreal. The unimaginably deep history of this city, and its exuberant and complex present commingled in my mind with jet-lag and a sense of appreciation for the great people I was working with to create a truly inspiring creative situation.

Choosing material to record was easy, but narrowing it down to one CD’s worth was difficult. Recording songs like Giant Steps and Willow Weep for Me forced me to confront my musical identity up front. What did I want to say with these songs, how could I add my vision to their grand and voluminous recorded history? Songs of the Beach Boys and Tears for Fears were a natural addition to this repertoire for me, songs I felt I could put my own stamp on and still honor the great composition.

Much of this music is recorded in tribute, as I feel I can never give enough thanks to the inspirational voices that constantly awake in me a new love for music and a new appreciation of life through their work. Monk’s Ask Me Now I record in tribute to the great Art Lande, masterful interpreter of Monk and truly great teacher. Brad Mehldau has made such an honest and timely contribution to the world of jazz with his music with his brilliant compositions, and I respectfully tackle his Resignation. And I perform the traditional American folk song He’s Gone Away in honor of another great teacher of mine, Charlie Haden, who in his musical career made such a beautiful connection between jazz and American folk music, a connection I always felt was there but heard most honestly rendered through his sound.

One hundred years into the rich history of recorded solo piano jazz I feel there is still much to be said by the singing of strings and wood. I am honored to humbly contribute my vision to this grand repertoire.

Adam Benjamin

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