Exposé Online banner

Daniel Bennett Group — The Mystery at Clown Castle
(Manhattan Daylight, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-07

The Mystery at Clown Castle Cover artI listen to a lot of jazz, and when I do, it’s generally one of two kinds: vintage stuff in the streams of bebop, free, and electric; or modern avant-tinged recordings. Daniel Bennett falls into none of those, being harmonically rather straightforward and quite accessible on the whole. On nearly all of the tunes, the melodies are spritely and harmonized with chords uncomplicated by lots of extended notes, giving a poppish, gospel-oriented impression and avoiding even passing dissonance. The only exceptions to this are the paired tracks called “Inside the Outside Interlude” and “Outside the Inside Outro,” which go atonal and feature a bit of squawking on the sax. “Minor Leaguer” is another oddity, with spoken word vocals processed electronically. In spite of the tuneful nature of the pieces and the bouncy tempos, the music never descends into smooth jazz schlock, coming off more as a soundtrack to some kind of carnival where the participants are wearing gaudy masks and dancing to the band. I might be missing a more appropriate referent, but I’m reminded of some of Herbie Mann’s vintage recordings from the late 60s, where Caribbean styles are infused into jazz.

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Daniel Bennett

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amorphis - Am Universum – Back when I was in my early teens, I went through a phase where I liked heavy metal. Black Sabbath’s Paranoid was my favorite LP. That phase didn’t last very long, and I haven’t...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues