Bennett Paster “Relentless Pursuit of the Beautiful” CD Release Event
New Release: Bennett Paster - "Relentless Pursuit of the Beautiful". Street Date March 5, 2013. Featuring Bennett Paster: compositions, piano, Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone, Tim Armacost: tenor and soprano saxophone, Alex Pope Norris: trumpet, Gregory Ryan: bass, Willard B Dyson, Jr: drums. Special guest: Gilad: percussion. CD Release Event: Tuesday, February 12th 10PM at Shapeshifter Lab (18 Whitwell Place,Brooklyn, NY 11215 (Between 1st and Carroll Str- Park Slope)
Relentless Pursuit of the Beautiful is a broad-based modern jazz recording showcasing the compositions and piano playing of Bennett Paster. Joined by six masterful instrumentalists, he effortlessly integrates swing with Latin and Brazilian rhythms to forge a contemporary, accessible style. Recorded one sweltering July day in Brooklyn after a series of monthly performances at Greenwich Village music club The 55 Bar, the album vividly captures snapshots in the ensemble's development. Their group interplay and unwavering melodicism render a rich, eminently listenable music that draws in the listener and brings them along on their journey. Keyboardist, composer and producer Bennett Paster is one of New York City's most creative and versatile musicians. He has performed original music at clubs, concerts and festivals in the United States, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Central andSouth Asia and throughout Europe. He has performed with jazz stars Wallace Roney, Keb Mo, Robben Ford, Kurt Elling, Rufus Reid, Bill Stewart, Billy Hart, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Ndugu Chancler and Yosvany Terry among others. Paster leads two bands of his own: The Bennett Paster Group, an acoustic quintet which performs his broad-based jazz and Latin-jazz compositions and Bennett Paster's Funktet, a hard grooving band which showcases his formidable abilities on vintage electric keyboards and Hammond organ. He is also in-demand as a sideman and studio session musician, regularly performing and recording in NYC. Paster was a finalist in the 2008 Jacksonville Jazz Piano competition.
"To me, writing and playing music has always been a mysterious and intuitive process. I rarely approach it with my intellect leading the way. Over time I have learned to tap into my inner voice, to trust it and to let it flow. I'm constantly striving to make my music simple, more essential; to strip away unnecessary artifice and adornment. Relentless Pursuit of the Beautiful is a celebration of those efforts. "The Beautiful" to which the title refers isn't traditional aesthetic beauty, rather it's honest musical expression from within. This expression forms the core of my sound. It incorporates a wide spectrum of emotions using sonic textures and colors which create a picture of life through music. Life in general and music in particular seem to be becoming ever more complicated. Conversely, I'm trying to find the shortest distance between musical
inspiration and it's expression. The improvisational process in jazz has long sought to minimize that disconnect. But the compositional process is similar to making a sculpture, refining an idea little by little until it's perfect. Lately, I've been trying to find a way to preserve the spontaneity of improvisation in my compositions. Many of the songs in this collection were composed away from the piano using only a pencil and staff paper, letting my inner melodic sense be my compass. These particular songs come from my heart and mind, not the familiar pathways that my fingers comfortably tread when I compose at a keyboard. In the others that I did discover at the piano, I've sought to preserve the initial inspiration at the genesis of the idea. The exceptional musicians on this recording have helped bring these ideas and this music to life. They animated the static ideas from paper into joyous noise, effortlessly balancing the written and the free elements in each song. I'm thankful to them all for their contributions to this project and to you, the listener for joining us on this journey in pursuit of this elusive beauty."
— Bennett Paster, Brooklyn, NY July 2012
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