Exposé Online banner

Daniel Bennett Group — Sinking Houseboat Confusion
(Manhattan Daylight, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-12-30

Sinking Houseboat Confusion Cover art

In this age of cynicism, it’s easy to be suspicious of a person who seems very positive. When you meet someone who is all smiles and bubbly attitude, you wonder if they’re hiding something, some ulterior motive that you should watch out for. Maybe that explains my initial reaction to Sinking Houseboat Confusion. This music is bouncy and happy, upbeat and friendly, with hardly so much as a hint of darkness. Is there a secret agenda? A nefarious plan to suck in unsuspecting grandmas only to chuckle sinisterly once their meager savings are in hand? But then I think of a parallel in the world of progressive rock. King Crimson and Van der Graaf are not the only way to go, there’s also Caravan, bouncy and accessible, tuneful and light-hearted. Projecting the range of progressive rock onto jazz, Bennett is definitely on the Caravan side. Tunes like “John Lizard Comes Home,” “Doctor Duck Builds a Patio,” and “Animals Discussing Life Changes” are as whimsical as their titles suggest. But the energetic melodies in major keys and straight-ahead rhythms (more like surf-rock than jazz fusion) are complemented by quirky effects and solid performances that wear down the cynical listener. And there are a couple of curveballs in this pitcher’s repertoire. “We Are OK!” gives the musicians, especially bassist Eddy Khaimovich, a chance to get weird and a bit funky while the rhythm section changes tempo a number of times and Bennett adds atonal piano flourishes. “Little Disappointments of Modern Life” features a spoken poem by Michele Herman backed only by Bennett’s sax and effects. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no hidden agenda. Just listen and enjoy, smile and bop your head, and accept the simple pleasures of Sinking Houseboat Confusion.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Daniel Bennett

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mezquita - Recuerdos de mi Tierra – Spain's late 70s "progressive rock" scene was flowing in the abundance of new and creative talent and this short lived band was practically at the zenith of this genre's adherents. A heavily folk...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues