A few short years ago Marco Benevento was a new-comer on the New York City’s jazz scene, but since then he has developed his chops to a legendary status. Last year, during a multi-night stand at NYC’s celebrated (and unfortunately now closed) club Tonic, Benevento put together different trios to perform some of his original pieces and to do some serious improvising. The result of the experiment came out a few months later as the celebrated album, "Live At Tonic". With this recording it became pretty obvious that Benevento had taken a giant leap as a player and composer. More proof came at the start of this year with his first studio solo album, Invisible Baby. In support of the new album, Benevento recently hit the road with the trio format and blazed a monster trail through the Northeast. The tour stopped in Burlington for a show at the Flynn Center’s smaller shoebox space, The FLynnspace.
Opening the show was singer/songwriter/magician Nathan Moore, who played newer and older tunes from his catalog. Moore started his set with "Gotta Make It," the lead track from You Yeah Smokin’ Hot, his outstanding new album. The rest of the set blended music with magic as Moore performed many tricks included making his head expand and pulling a handkerchief through a metal mic stand. Moore’s sets usually include a brand new piece, and this night was no different with the heart-on-his-sleeve crooner performing a fresh song that included a loop of an African choir. He explained that he had always dreamed of performing with an African choir and this would probably be as close as he would get.
After a brief intermission, Benevento hit the stage with a raging determination that did not let up the entire set. His band consisted of Jon Fishman, of Phish fame, on drums and bassist Reed Mathis, from the over the top jazz group Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. The trio performed like a finely cared for engine, busting into deep interlocking grooves. The show went through many moods; from triumphant and uplifting to creepy and stony. They played a few tunes off of Invisible Baby including the catchy single, "The Real Morning Party," in which Fishman took a pounding drum solo and Benevento ended up on the floor reaming the life out of one of his many keyboards. Later in the show Brad Barr, from Surprise Me Mr. Davis, joined the trio for an extended jam that went to many places including a reading of CCR’s "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" and a dip into the classic Stones gem, "Can’t You Hear Me Knocking". Barr tore it up, and ended up placing a cherry onto this already legendary set of music.