Benoit's songs are very melodic and filled with hooks. They sometimes build so perfectly they would seem calculated if they weren't so passionately delivered. Benoit's playing has a certain sheen and smoothness to it, but it's not really smooth jazz. With a light touch that has a New Age texture, Benoit adds interesting embellishments to his playing, which owes a strong debt to Bill Evans. While Benoit likes to politely funk things up now and then, he's at his best when he milks a ballad. Forget the brain his playing will go straight to your heart. (Paul J. MacArthur)
David Benoit performs Sunday, July 25, at Scott Gertner's Skybar, 3400 Montrose Boulevard, tenth floor. Call (713)520-9688.