2009 artist to watch: Marco Benevento
Pop & Hiss offers a look at some of the artists we expect to make noise in 2009.
Artist: Marco Benevento
Why him? Long a cult favorite on the East Coast jam-band/avant-jazz circuit, this 31-year-old keyboardist/"sound sculptor" has been building a nationwide following for some jaw-dropping improvisational skills, a no-genres-barred approach and a globe-trotting touring schedule. His first studio release, the spacey yet approachable "Invisible Baby," landed Benevento’s trio at the 2008 JVC Jazz Festival, and there’s no limit to where his next album will take him. Built around Benevento’s shape-shifting acoustic piano and backed by an adventurous rhythm section of Matt Chamberlain and Reed Mathis, the record offers deconstructed reinterpretations of indie favorites such as My Morning Jacket, Beck and Deerhoof while flirting with straight-ahead jazz on his own compositions, like the lovely "Mephisto." Seemingly incapable of resisting an unexplored musical direction, Benevento can, essentially, do just about anything, which makes him exactly the kind of force that deserves notice in today’s contemporary jazz world.
What's next: His new album, "Me Not Me," is due Feb. 3, followed by an appearance at Largo on Feb. 11 backed by a two-pronged percussion attack of Medeski Martin and Wood's Billy Martin and former Lounge Lizard G. Calvin Weston.
Photo by Michael Benevento