Stormy Mondays | Benevento, Andrew Barr & Friedman

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Earlier this year we listened to a set from The Slip and then a sweet set from The Duo, and now it’s time to hear what happened when those bands met on stage when both were at the height of their powers. And we’re not talking about Surprise Me, Mr. Davis, a phenomenal band that featured Marco Benevento as a guest on occasion, and later as a full time member. Rather, we’re turning our attention to a couple of shows featuring the trio of Marco, Andrew Barr and Marc Friedman (MAM).

[Photo of Benevento & Barr by Josh Miller]

As far as I can tell, there were just a very few nights in New England in early August of ’05 when this band set out on its improv-heavy explorations, and I can’t even find the show from which this week’s Stormy Mondays is culled on db.etree.org. Nor do I remember where I got it, but man is it good.

The trio gives opens their second set in Providence with a pretty fantastic rendition of “Play, Pause, Stop”, which unfolds into 40+ minutes of incredibly responsive improvisation that dips into dub, bent circuit weirdness, heavy grooving, and ultimately lands in the boogie woogie barroom piano playfulness that is at the heart of Marco’s playing. And as fantastic a bass player as Marc is, he plays a fair amount of guitar here, which he was wont to do on occasion. This is some really special and rare jamming that’s worth revisiting over and over again. As always, enjoy!

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Written By: Dan Alford