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Powerful jazz duo Benevento-Russo compared to Medeski, Martin, & Wood

By Andrew Cole
Chief Photographer

- CD Review -

Picture provided by: www.amazon.com

"Best Reason to Buy the Sun" is the debut album by the Benevento-Russo Duo released in 2005.

Benevento-Russo, who is based out of New York, has an enormous sound for just two musicians. Marco Benevento plays the keyboards and Joe Russo plays the drums, and in this album, they prove their status as an emerging jazz/experimental/progressive powerhouse.

With the combination of jazz improvisation and electronic loops they carve a new niche in the jam band scene that only has been touched on by the great jazz trio Medeski, Martin, & Wood. The distinctive sound they have is due to the overdriven keyboards and several circuit-bent toys that Benevento brings to the fore.

Their debut album ranges from the heavy electronic, in the opening "Becky" and the closer "My Pet Goat," to the slow jazzy tune of "Vortex" or "Three Question Marks" and the rock-esque "Scratchitti." The album is layered in order to give the listener the chance to enjoy the album several times over and hear something new every time he or she comes back to it.

The Duo is a surefire tour-de-force on the live stage; at the 5th annual Jammys, they won the award "New Groove of the Year."

Their second album, "Play Pause Stop," was released in July of 2006. The follow-up album sets in stone their place as the newest and freshest band to shake up the jam band scene. More information can be found at www.beneventorussoduo.com.