Bennett Paster is a keyboardist, producer and composer-arranger. His latest album, “Indivisible” was released May 3, 2019. On it, Paster brings together a variety of styles from 5/4 time signatures, to New Orleans jazz, Nordic Open 8th and a few styles in between.
The 10 songs on “Indivisible” are all original, but often listeners can easily hear the styles that have gone into the creation of them. Mostly, there is a swinging energy that keeps people listening. To put it another way, Paster’s playing sounds inspired.
Paster is joined on the album by Jeff Hanley on bass, Tony Mason on drums, Al Street on guitar, Kenny Brooks on tenor sax, Samuel Torres on congas and percussion and Todd Isler also on percussion.
Some of the highlights on the album are “Blues For Youse” and “(Givin’ the People) What We Want.”
About Bennett Paster
Paster’s career as a professional musician began when he was 14. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Paster studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, and by the mid-1990s, he was working with notables in jazz doing studio work and making a name for himself.
Throughout the early years of the 21st century, Paster worked as a session musician for numerous performers and with a trio that he led in the completion of several albums.
“Indivisible” by Bennett Paster
The performer sums up the sound and effect of the album this way: “Music moves us all, from finger-snapping to full-on dancing. The power of groove to unite and bring joy is undeniable. It transcends cultures, nations, races and religion. This gravity is the force I’m tapping into on the collection of songs that form ‘Indivisible’.”
The album begins with “Blues For Youse.” The keyboard work is spry and engaging. The “blues” here are kinetic and danceable. The humor implied in the title seems to come through in the playful way the instruments in the soundscape complement each other. Though the rest of album varies in style, the song is a good introduction to Paster’s approach.
“Givin’ the People) What We Want” has a 1970s vibe that can be found in Paster’s work. The song begins with a funk-oriented keyboard riff that is complemented well by a saxophone motif that gives up a mix of soul and blues throughout most of the song. The saxophone showcase is characterized by a faster rhythm, and accents from a bright-sounding guitar. Toward the end of the song, the softer percussion come to the forefront of the soundscape a little. The basic 1970s funk feel is never completely gone from the track. Despite divergent motifs, the song comes back to what made listeners pay attention at the very beginning.
“Indivisible” is an interesting album that shows Paster’s ingenuity in terms of keyboard work and arranging. The music harkens to other times and genres, but ultimately the songs on “Indivisible” are unique and make for interesting listening.