Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound
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Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Avant-garde

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Dec
01
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound @ morseland

chicago, Illinois, USA

chicago, Illinois, USA

Aug
22
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound @ glenwood ave. arts festival

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Aug
01
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound @ morseland

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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This excellent 2005 session was first issued in small quantities about 18 months ago but is now being made more widely available only now. There's a 35 year age gap between Priester and Bennington, but they play like soul twins. Priester has covered pretty much every wharf on the waterfront- he has played with ensembles as varied as Duke Ellington and Sunn 0))), Bo Diddley and Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton and Herbie Hancock- and he relates some of his history on the final track. Bennington can't quite match that range, but he studied with Elvin Jones for eight years and was his manager for the end of that period. There's an intimacy and a reflective quality throughout these trombone and percussion duets, even in the less tranquil or more abstract passages, and the old cliche about music as conversation is particularly appropriate here. The best music reveals its treasures gradually, and so far each hearing of Portraits and Silhouettes (ThatSwan!) has disclosed additional things of value.
- Barry Witherden, The Wire, June 2009 - The Wire


This excellent 2005 session was first issued in small quantities about 18 months ago but is now being made more widely available only now. There's a 35 year age gap between Priester and Bennington, but they play like soul twins. Priester has covered pretty much every wharf on the waterfront- he has played with ensembles as varied as Duke Ellington and Sunn 0))), Bo Diddley and Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton and Herbie Hancock- and he relates some of his history on the final track. Bennington can't quite match that range, but he studied with Elvin Jones for eight years and was his manager for the end of that period. There's an intimacy and a reflective quality throughout these trombone and percussion duets, even in the less tranquil or more abstract passages, and the old cliche about music as conversation is particularly appropriate here. The best music reveals its treasures gradually, and so far each hearing of Portraits and Silhouettes (ThatSwan!) has disclosed additional things of value.
- Barry Witherden, The Wire, June 2009 - The Wire


"...experiments with the below the skin deep beauty music has always had, but which few artists have been daring enough to delve into." - The Muses Muse


"...experiments with the below the skin deep beauty music has always had, but which few artists have been daring enough to delve into." - The Muses Muse


Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols
Jimmy Bennington Trio | ThatSwan! Records (2007)


By Jakob Baekgaard

The music of pianist and composer Herbie Nichols (1919-1963) has experienced something a renaissance in recent years. This is, in no small part, due to the tireless work of trombonist Roswell Rudd, who has recorded his compositions and published the book Herbie Nichols: The Unpublished Works (2000), containing 27 of Nichols' compositions.

Thus, thanks to the work of Rudd, drummer Jimmy Bennington and his trio have been able to record a tribute album to Nichols: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols, consisting almost entirely of forgotten compositions by this neglected master. This also means that one won't find any of the tunes that Nichols recorded on the Blue Note and Bethlehem labels between May 1955 and November 1957, with the sole exception of "House Party Starting," which can be heard on the box set The Complete Studio Master Takes (Lonehill, 2005).

With the exception of "House Party Starting" there's no way to know how Nichols would have tackled the material himself. What's remains, of course, is an interpretation. Nevertheless, comparing the two versions of "House Party Starting" shows how the trio is both faithful towards Nichols while, at the same time, taking the music into new, dark corners.

While both Bennington and bassist Michael Bisio do a solid job, the spotlight naturally falls on pianist David Haney, who superbly interprets Nichols' idiosyncratic style. Haney brings out the Monkish knottiness of Nichols' playing while also paying wide attention to the pianist's patented use of poetic space. It's a very modern Nichols heard in Haney's version, but also, paradoxically, an old-fashioned stylist where titles like "Old 52nd St. Rag" and "Twelve Bars" speak very clearly of where the music came from.

The peculiar mixture of something very old and dusty and still freshly modern is repeated not only in the playing but also in the recording. The whole album was taped as a radio-session and, while there are no crackles and pops to disturb the listening experience, it's not a hi-fi recording; instead the album has the patina of an old 78.

Nostalgic yet modern, outdated and still way of ahead of his time. The paradox of Nichols' artistry continues to live and this fine homage is a fitting introduction to his singular musical world. - AllAboutJazz- New York/ Jakob Baekgaard


Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols
Jimmy Bennington Trio | ThatSwan! Records (2007)


By Jakob Baekgaard

The music of pianist and composer Herbie Nichols (1919-1963) has experienced something a renaissance in recent years. This is, in no small part, due to the tireless work of trombonist Roswell Rudd, who has recorded his compositions and published the book Herbie Nichols: The Unpublished Works (2000), containing 27 of Nichols' compositions.

Thus, thanks to the work of Rudd, drummer Jimmy Bennington and his trio have been able to record a tribute album to Nichols: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols, consisting almost entirely of forgotten compositions by this neglected master. This also means that one won't find any of the tunes that Nichols recorded on the Blue Note and Bethlehem labels between May 1955 and November 1957, with the sole exception of "House Party Starting," which can be heard on the box set The Complete Studio Master Takes (Lonehill, 2005).

With the exception of "House Party Starting" there's no way to know how Nichols would have tackled the material himself. What's remains, of course, is an interpretation. Nevertheless, comparing the two versions of "House Party Starting" shows how the trio is both faithful towards Nichols while, at the same time, taking the music into new, dark corners.

While both Bennington and bassist Michael Bisio do a solid job, the spotlight naturally falls on pianist David Haney, who superbly interprets Nichols' idiosyncratic style. Haney brings out the Monkish knottiness of Nichols' playing while also paying wide attention to the pianist's patented use of poetic space. It's a very modern Nichols heard in Haney's version, but also, paradoxically, an old-fashioned stylist where titles like "Old 52nd St. Rag" and "Twelve Bars" speak very clearly of where the music came from.

The peculiar mixture of something very old and dusty and still freshly modern is repeated not only in the playing but also in the recording. The whole album was taped as a radio-session and, while there are no crackles and pops to disturb the listening experience, it's not a hi-fi recording; instead the album has the patina of an old 78.

Nostalgic yet modern, outdated and still way of ahead of his time. The paradox of Nichols' artistry continues to live and this fine homage is a fitting introduction to his singular musical world. - AllAboutJazz- New York/ Jakob Baekgaard


Jimmy Bennington
Our Dialogue + Midnight Choir
(That Swan! + OA2)

by David Dupont
12 September 2005

One of the pleasures of reviewing is the constant discovery of new musicians emerging from all corners of the continent and abroad. Even when I have some choice of what I cover, I make a point of seeking out CDs issued by people unknown to me. Such was the case with these two items under drummer Jimmy Bennington’s name. In his mid-30s, he has resided in a few of those corners himself, having been born in Ohio, raised in Texas, and now living in Portland, Oregon. He does seem to have a way of fitting in.

He’s a most self-effacing sort of drummer. Even on Our Dialogue—a live duet date from July 27, 2004 with pianist David Haney—he only shines the spotlight on himself a couple times, with his set-ending solo on “The Gemini” being the one truly extended effort. That solo speaks volumes, even if much of it is delivered mezzo piano, about Bennington’s aesthetic. Though he starts with a high tight snare role that alludes to a march cadence, there’s nothing bombastic about his playing. Rather the solo spreads out across his set in a deliberate manner, always returning to that opening tattoo. It’s fitting that he gets in the last word, since throughout the session he defers to his partner.

Haney is yet another of those figures just off the horizon who suddenly seems everywhere. At the same time I got this I also received his duo session with Julian Priester on Cadence Jazz Records. Haney is a free stylist who seems as much speaking to himself, as if rehearsing thoughts he’s not quite ready to share. On the opening “Twelve Bars”, one of two Herbie Nichols compositions on the six-tune set, he seems to poke and prod at the piano, digging for the melody.

On the ballad “Susanna” he implies a chord progression, but the harmonies drift off course as they rise into the upper register. Bennington responds to his playing, more it seems than the pianist responds to his. On “Susanna”, Bennington softly roils the surface underneath the pianist’s eccentric chording. He grounds “Favorite Chairs” in a tumbling beat centered on a snare figure, with staggering bass drum and hi-hat accents and splashes from his cymbals. When he lays down a Latin beat on “Fatima, Mon Amor”, Haney sounds intent in not going along, hammering block chords at odds with it. The second Nichols composition, “Pretty Prancing Woman” gets a surprisingly straightforward reading with Haney staying in the neighborhood of the theme throughout and Bennington showing an understanding of the melodic function of percussion in Nichols’ work.

The second disc Midnight Choir dates back to 1996 and 1998. It apparently was released as a CD-R at some point before this 2003 OA2 Records edition. Recorded in Houston, Texas, it features Bennington with a small shifting cast of players. The core is a trio with bassist David Klingensmith and saxophonist Seth Paynter. Again, Bennington takes a back seat to his colleagues. Paynter contributes three originals, and outbound, Coltrane-inspired blowing. It’s Bennington who keeps the groove nailed down on “Equinox” and “Two Fascinations” as Paynter roars from mid-period Trane stylings to evocations of the master’s last days with bassist Klingensmith serving as his wingman. Paynter gives full expression to his inspiration on his own piece “Ganges”.

On two tracks trombonist Bruce Melville joins the band. The trombonist has a porous sound that exposes the sound of lips buzzing in the mouthpiece. He and Klingensmith provide a session highlight on “Two Fascinations” as they exchange phrases so tightly joined that they end up playing a climatic fragment in unison. The session closes with a trio, sans Paynter, but with pianist Joe Benjamin, who appears in a supporting role only on “Ganges”. The piano trio explores the many musical resources of Michel LeGrande’s ballad “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?”, a piece too little done. It also demonstrates, as does all the work here, what a fine and sensitive drummer James Bennington is.
- All About Jazz/ David DuPont 12 September 2005


Jimmy Bennington
Our Dialogue + Midnight Choir
(That Swan! + OA2)

by David Dupont
12 September 2005

One of the pleasures of reviewing is the constant discovery of new musicians emerging from all corners of the continent and abroad. Even when I have some choice of what I cover, I make a point of seeking out CDs issued by people unknown to me. Such was the case with these two items under drummer Jimmy Bennington’s name. In his mid-30s, he has resided in a few of those corners himself, having been born in Ohio, raised in Texas, and now living in Portland, Oregon. He does seem to have a way of fitting in.

He’s a most self-effacing sort of drummer. Even on Our Dialogue—a live duet date from July 27, 2004 with pianist David Haney—he only shines the spotlight on himself a couple times, with his set-ending solo on “The Gemini” being the one truly extended effort. That solo speaks volumes, even if much of it is delivered mezzo piano, about Bennington’s aesthetic. Though he starts with a high tight snare role that alludes to a march cadence, there’s nothing bombastic about his playing. Rather the solo spreads out across his set in a deliberate manner, always returning to that opening tattoo. It’s fitting that he gets in the last word, since throughout the session he defers to his partner.

Haney is yet another of those figures just off the horizon who suddenly seems everywhere. At the same time I got this I also received his duo session with Julian Priester on Cadence Jazz Records. Haney is a free stylist who seems as much speaking to himself, as if rehearsing thoughts he’s not quite ready to share. On the opening “Twelve Bars”, one of two Herbie Nichols compositions on the six-tune set, he seems to poke and prod at the piano, digging for the melody.

On the ballad “Susanna” he implies a chord progression, but the harmonies drift off course as they rise into the upper register. Bennington responds to his playing, more it seems than the pianist responds to his. On “Susanna”, Bennington softly roils the surface underneath the pianist’s eccentric chording. He grounds “Favorite Chairs” in a tumbling beat centered on a snare figure, with staggering bass drum and hi-hat accents and splashes from his cymbals. When he lays down a Latin beat on “Fatima, Mon Amor”, Haney sounds intent in not going along, hammering block chords at odds with it. The second Nichols composition, “Pretty Prancing Woman” gets a surprisingly straightforward reading with Haney staying in the neighborhood of the theme throughout and Bennington showing an understanding of the melodic function of percussion in Nichols’ work.

The second disc Midnight Choir dates back to 1996 and 1998. It apparently was released as a CD-R at some point before this 2003 OA2 Records edition. Recorded in Houston, Texas, it features Bennington with a small shifting cast of players. The core is a trio with bassist David Klingensmith and saxophonist Seth Paynter. Again, Bennington takes a back seat to his colleagues. Paynter contributes three originals, and outbound, Coltrane-inspired blowing. It’s Bennington who keeps the groove nailed down on “Equinox” and “Two Fascinations” as Paynter roars from mid-period Trane stylings to evocations of the master’s last days with bassist Klingensmith serving as his wingman. Paynter gives full expression to his inspiration on his own piece “Ganges”.

On two tracks trombonist Bruce Melville joins the band. The trombonist has a porous sound that exposes the sound of lips buzzing in the mouthpiece. He and Klingensmith provide a session highlight on “Two Fascinations” as they exchange phrases so tightly joined that they end up playing a climatic fragment in unison. The session closes with a trio, sans Paynter, but with pianist Joe Benjamin, who appears in a supporting role only on “Ganges”. The piano trio explores the many musical resources of Michel LeGrande’s ballad “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?”, a piece too little done. It also demonstrates, as does all the work here, what a fine and sensitive drummer James Bennington is.
- All About Jazz/ David DuPont 12 September 2005


Discography

* Jimmy Bennington Trio
"Another Friend- the music of Herbie Nichols" TSR1006
* Jimmy Bennington/ Julian Priester "Portaits and Silhouettes" TSR1005-
Honorable Mention for Best Recordings of 2007 from AllAboutJazz- New York
* Jimmy Bennington "Jazz Kaleidoscope; solo drums live at On The House" TSR 1004
* Jimmy Bennington/ David Haney "Our Dialogue; Live at the Tugboat, vol. V" TSR1003

Photos

Bio

James Bennington was born in Columbus, Ohio, May 22, 1970. He was raised in Detroit, Michigan until age nine when his family moved to Houston, Texas. It was there that he began music studies on clarinet, playing the instrument for three years. He switched to drums at the age of fourteen. Though largely self-taught, his education has come from concert and marching bands in Middle and High School, brief formal instruction, countless Jazz and Blues sessions, and work as a sideman and leader. Getting his start in Texas afforded Bennington the chance to play with local veterans such as Blues guitar greats Kinney Abair and Little Joe Washington, saxophonist Terrance Tony, guitarist Susan Alcorn, trumpeter Tex Allen, and renowned vocalist Horace Grigsby. In addition to drummer G.T. Hogan and bassist Lawrence Evans, longtime Billy Harper drummer Malcolm Pinson became a friend and mentor, eventually using Bennington as a substitute when he was away.

Other artists Bennington has been privileged to meet and learn from include multi-reedist Chuck Carter, saxophonist Bert Wilson, pianist Eric Lewis, drummers Roy Haynes, Ron Enyard, James Zitro, Billy Mintz, John Spencer, and the legendary Elvin Jones. In fact, after several years of informal study with the former Coltrane drummer, Jimmy served as band manager and drum tech from 2000-2002 for the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine touring the U.S. and Europe.

A distinctive sound has forged opportunities for him to play and record with a diverse array of artists from the Jazz and Improvised Music communities and beyond, and include clarinetist Perry Robinson, trombonists Julian Priester, Andre Hayward, and Michael Vlatkovich, saxophonists Bert Wilson, John Gross, Seth Paynter, and Didier Haboyan, trumpeters Itaru Oki, Jim Knodle, Farnell Newton, pianists Gordon Lee, Art Resnik, David Haney, and Jobic LeMassan, guitarists John Stowell, Tom McNalley, and Bill Horist, violinist Tom Swafford, and bassists Ed Schuller, Michael Bisio, and Benjamin Duboc.

Based in Chicago, after long periods in Texas (1990-1998) and the West Coast (1998-2006), Bennington appears at a number of venues as a sideman or band leader with his group, Colour and Sound and performs in the U.S. with regular visits to Canada, Europe, and South America. In addition to standard musical settings, Jimmy makes it a point to play at public schools, community centers, festivals, and hospitals as part of a longstanding relationship with the Children's Cancer Association. Live radio broadcasts include appearances on KBOO, KTRU, KHMD, KEXP, WNUR, and WZRD, as well as an appearance on Chicago's WGN Television.

Chicago artists Jimmy has worked with include veteran multi-reedist Rich Corpolongo, saxophonists Fred Jackson, Jeff Marx, and Ed House (AACM), trombonist Jeb Bishop, cornettist Josh Berman, pianists Jim Baker and Ben Boye, vibraphonist Jim Cooper, cellist Tomeka Reid, guitarists Dave Miller, Bill MacKay, Jason Steele, Mr. G and the Mystery Band, Doug Blake, and bassists Brian Sandstrom, Michael Staron, Anton Hatwich, and Rollo Radford of Sun Ra Arkestra fame.

Visits to Paris in September of 2007 and 2008 provided two career highlights; the opportunity for Bennington to sit in with trumpet legend Ted Curson and pianist Alain Jean Marie at the Sunset Jazz Club in 2007, and Jimmy's Paris debut at the Paris underground club L' Attier Tampon- Ramier on Sept. 21, 2008 with veteran guests: bassist Benjamin Duboc, trumpet/ flutes Itaru Oki, and alto saxophonist Didier Haboyan. During his time in Paris, he was a session guest on the famed Rue des Lombards' Duc des Lombards, Le Baser Sale, the Sunset, and au Croissant in Montmartre. A recording session with Bennington, Benjamin Duboc and pianist Jobic Le Massan, 'Walk to Montreuil', recorded September 19, 2008 (TBR).

Bennington has performed in Canada as guest artist with the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto as well as with saxophonist Graham Ord and bassist Paul Blaney of the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver. He has also been a regular guest at the Jazz Zone in Lima, Peru.

He has worked with bagpipes, folk and Mariachi musicians, DJ's, poets, tap and interpretive dancers, and has performed with Rob Scheps Salon Des Refuses Big Band as well as with vocalists Stephanie Porter, Joanne Klein, Karen Shivers, and Saalik Ziyad.

Embracing a broad spectrum of the Jazz art form, ranging from the Great American Songbook to New Music, Jimmy Bennington and has developed an inimitable musical atmosphere that showcases his collaborators creative talents and places the drum in the role of timekeeper, colorist, and conductor. In keeping with the traditions of Jazz and Improvised Music, he employs strong elements of Blues and Folk music to explore, propel, cajole, and inspire musicians and audiences alike. For nearly twenty years his intent remains one of truth and honesty of expression.

Mr. Bennington is an experienced private instructor, as well as a fr