Along with his unbridled virtuosity and penchant for improvisation, Marco Benevento has a remarkable ear for melody. As part of the The Duo, he is the cliff-hanging foil of Joe Russo’s cataclysmic drumming, but in his solo work, he has returned from the outerspace of the largely improvised Live at Tonic and has arrived on solid ground with Invisible Baby.
Joined by bassist Reed Mathis (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey), and drummers Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos) and Andrew Barr (The Slip), Benevento explores the scenery out the window of “Bus Ride,” fueling a grandiose theme above a driving, fuzzed-out bass line. “Atari” infuses prolific piano runs with squirmy synth, and “The Real Morning Party” is pure indie-pop, an instrumental infection that feels so good, it might just kill you.
With Invisible Baby, Benevento has demonstrated his acute ability in the coherent world, where concision and melody trump improvised madness. And not only does this still-ascending key-wizard achieve this, he does so with warmth and candor, the result a stereo-ready song cycle with a broad range, custom-made for your next family reunion or hipster throwdown.
Invisible Baby is out now on Hyena Records.