David Benoit

Waiting for Spring

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After making so many forgettable albums with commercial radio in mind, David Benoit took a break from the type of smooth jazz fluff he usually records and delivered a respectable, straight-ahead CD with Waiting for Spring. Instead of shamelessly wasting his improvisatory skills, he actually lets loose on the acoustic piano and makes some meaningful statements. Bill Evans is obviously a great influence on Benoit, whose vulnerability makes his love of the late piano legend obvious on originals as well as lyrical interpretations of standards like "My Romance" and "Secret Love." Benoit has a fine soloist in the late guitarist Emily Remler, who is consistently warm, melodic, and inviting. Though the album isn't breathtaking, it's satisfying and heartfelt.

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