New Music For Old People: Marco Benevento, Alain Johannes, Nikka Costa

Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. Marco Benevento – “Between The Needles & Nightfall”

This instrumental sounds amazingly original. I hear influences of Brian Wilson and Jack Nietzsche, but it could be a cowinkydink. Marco is now well regarded in the jazz/electronica community — we were both at Berklee in the late ’90s but I don’t recall us meeting, me a teacher, he a student. From the sound of this, I think he could teach me a thing or two.

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2. Alain Johannes – “Return To You”

This is very from-the-heart as it is from a tribute album to his recently deceased wife of over two decades. I did not know this before I included it in this comp, but now I understand why it reached me. Why not be the next one to be touched?

3. Nikka Costa – “Swing It Around”

This young woman’s father arranged and produced at least two of my early songwriting efforts in the ’60s when Don Costa was one of the most famous in the pop record biz. So here comes Nikka in Sly Stone’s footsteps instead. Ain’t that how it always is? This is a well-done R&B dance track with specific nods to The Family Stone. You show, girl!

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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