09 January 2008

Review: Marco Benevento + Sullivan Hall

Sullivan Hall, 3 January 2008

It begins... a new year, a new-look old venue, a new resideNYC with the same old Marco Benevento.

Last Thursday began another monthlong adventure with OTW's favorite keyboardist extraordinaire. As far as Benevento outings go, this was like the stretching before the real exercise, the prologue, the teaser. The line up was Marco w/ Bobby Previte on drums, Steven Bernstein on trumpet(s) and DJ Olive on turntables. The resulting music was nothing short of free form free-for-all, but with some guidance and plenty of hooks scattered throughout. It got out there, but was the perfect kind of mind-bending weirdness for a cold, we're-still-exhausted early January night... a great way to break yourself in to yet another year of music.

Enjoy the photos from Aiello

Benevento played piano with his left hand making ample vacation time over on the "Key Bass" which may very well be my new favorite instrument. Of course, his grand piano is far from ordinary, with plenty of digitalia piping its way around the sound and making it big. The music stuttered a bit in the first "set" which was about an hour straight of just good old fashioned improvisation. Between sets I verbalized my desire to get out of there by midnight and yet as the second set moved through, things got incredibly interesting and downright intriguing and by the time the clock struck twelve, it was tough to leave.... the best music of the night was going down with Bernstein being the consummate player he is and Previte just blazing away and even the DJ acting in parallel and not so perpendicular.

This month's run is at Sullivan Hall which is the old Lion's Den revisited. The sound and light improvements are definitely improvements and the small aesthetic touches give the place a chance for a new start. I'm not sure how the booking will change over the long haul, but a show like last Thursday's had me pining for both the old Wetlands and Tonic at times... frankly, there are few places where such a high level freak out can take place. The new Sullivan Hall has the feeling of a potential performance space as well as a out-and-out party central. I'd love to see them fill that missing link in the NYC music chain... but I doubt it will.

No comments: