Picks and Pans Review: Every Step of the Way

updated 02/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

David Benoit

Benoit (pronounced ben-WAH) is a keyboardist from the Pseudo-Jazz School of Contemporary Musicians who did a decade of session work before setting out on his own. He has also worked with the demonstrative singer Patti Austin, giving him added credentials as a bandleader. Every Step of the Way is alternately inspired and inoffensive. There are hints of light fusion here (as on the title track) and a fairly heavy dose of pure pop with the single "The Key to You," featuring former Ambrosia lead vocalist David Pack. Benoit's playing is clean and technically efficient, which also means it can be less than explosive. While "Sao Paulo" appears to be a case of jumping on the samba bandwagon, Benoit and his competent band are spirited, and the bossa nova seems at least to be genuinely expressed. The gaffes are scarce here, though "ReBach" (puh-leeze!), a bungled attempt at classical noodling, is downright pretentious. In the end Benoit serves up Sunday brunch music on Every Step of the Way and, like the fare at your local fern bar-restaurant, it is just good enough not to distract you from important conversations about the condo market or day care. (GRP)

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