Benet McLean – Green Park (ENG review)

Street Date: November 2023
Benet McLean – Green Park (ENG review)

If there’s one instrument in jazz that I’ve never appreciated, it’s the violin. But that was before I heard Benet Mclean, who is both an excellent composer and an exceptional violinist. Right from the first track, it works like a charm – modern, inventive, with arrangements that take your breath away. This guy is like the Zawinul of the violin, and in the presence of such genius, one can only have deep respect.
With the track “Blue Finger” at the beginning of the album, Benet Mclean dazzles us, and then comes “Lucy,” and that’s when we find ourselves delving into melodic mysteries that seduce us. The rest of the album follows suit, perfectly executed, enjoyable to the point where you can easily imagine this album on stage. Well-known in the British music scene, it’s high time to introduce him to the rest of the world.
Previously recognized for his excellent piano skills, Benet has released several critically acclaimed albums on the piano. However, in recent years, he has returned to the violin, quickly establishing himself as a dynamic and innovative jazz violinist. His highly anticipated debut solo violin album, titled “Green Park,” is set for release in November 2023.
His collaborations have included leading the string quartet on Partikel’s acclaimed album “String Theory” and working on string sections with producer Troy Miller on Laura Mvula and Mahalia’s albums. He has also played the violin with artists outside of the jazz genre, including Nightmares on Wax. His violin music can be heard on several albums, including the debut solo albums of trumpeter Andy Davies (“Rise Of The Spider Monkey”) and keyboardist Benjamin Croft (“10 Reasons To…”).
To top it all off, Bennet is also a jazz violin teacher at the London Performing Academy of Music. One can easily imagine the fortune his students have in having a musician who masters both classical and jazz music, using one to enrich the other with extraordinary talent.
2023 is certainly the year of many exciting album revelations, and “Green Park” naturally belongs to this category. It’s an album you can play on a loop to fully appreciate all its subtleties.
2023 is also the year of composers, both European and American. This year, we are truly spoiled, and regarding Benet, you only need to look at the list of musicians he has collaborated with (Omar, Soweto Kinch, Binker Golding, Daniel Casimir, Julian Joseph, Steve Williamson, Orphy Robinson, Jean Toussaint, Cleveland Watkiss, TY, Roachford, Jay Phelps, Tommy Smith, Sir Simon Rattle, Kevin Haynes (see the album “Ori Ire”), Maxi Jazz (Faithless), and Loose Tubes) to understand how important this artist is.
I would like to thank Benet Mclean for placing his trust in us, and it is rewarded by the endorsements of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move, who classify this album as “Essential.”

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 16th 2023


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