Although Benoit certainly seems more "urbane" than "urban," it is a funky direction that the pianist takes for his latest contemporary jazz project, and he seems to be enjoying himself quite a bit.

Although Benoit certainly seems more "urbane" than "urban," it is a funky direction that the pianist takes for his latest contemporary jazz project, and he seems to be enjoying himself quite a bit. In fact, Benoit's nimble piano runs dance so joyfully over the pop/funk rhythms that buoy this project that it's easy to draw parallels between the pop, jazz, and classical musical elements that are implied by either the compositional structures, rhythms, or the pianist's elegant lines. Assistance from smooth jazz trumpeter/producer Rick Braun and Down to the Bone principle Stuart Wade only add to the viability of the project. On several tracks, Benoit eschews the all-too-overused programmed drums, and the dynamic feel of a live drummer allows the music to breathe in a way heard all too infrequently in the smooth jazz genre.—SG