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For decades, jazz and blues musicians have shared a deep love for each other’s music. Many artists have opted to combine the freeform stylings of jazz with the mellow groove of blues resulting in timeless recordings still found in today’s record bins. One such album remaining true to that tradition is Servin’ It Up by Benjie Porecki.
Servin’ It Up is a tradition-true, all instrumental jazz album where Porecki’s hip, youthful energy is the driving force behind the music. The disc covers the gamut of styles from the soulful organ grooves of “Servin’ It Up” and “Boogie On Reggae Woman” to the subtle nuances of jazz piano heard in cuts like “Sunny” and Miles Davis’ “Blue In Green.”
Featuring Severn’s regular guest guitarist, Alex Schultz (Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers) and the tight rhythm section of the Severn Records house band (bassist Steve Gomes and drummer Robb Stupka), the album was recorded in just over two days and is a testament to the extraordinary talents of each musician.
Servin’ It Up is a melodic journey into the depths of this young man’s soul and is bound to leave the listener asking for seconds. (Download only.)
Check out Benjie’s other title on Severn Records, The Rest of My Life.
Having learned about Benjie through my close friend and musical mentor, Steve Gomes, I was expecting to hear a great B-3/piano player. And Benjie is that and much more. He has a presence I’ve rarely encountered—the complete package: musicianship, soul, creativity, and an innate essence of cool, all charged with hip, youthful energy. It all comes across on this disc. Recorded just over two days, this was a shoes-off session, a real study of groove. Gomes and Robb Stupka, a seamless team for a few years now, locked in from the jump. Alex Schultz’s restraint and unaffected tone leaves me begging for more. And Benjie is definitely keeping it real. — Darrell Nulisch
To the musicians on this album, you guys are great! Thank you for being funky, listening, and laying it in the pocket. Chris Rival, you are wonderful to work with, thank you for your patience, constant good nature, and exceptional skills. To everyone at the Sportsman’s Lounge, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you Bob Haynes, Anita Thompson, Eleanor Janey, Bernard, Kenny, Virginia, George and Domingus. I especially would like to thank all of the terrific musicians I get to play with on a daily basis. You know who you are – it’s a gift to work with you and I wake up every morning thankful. Thank you mom and dad for this blessed life. Marcy G., Blues Webb, the Grainger family, Haj, Jaavad, and Maureen, thank you for being a huge and beautiful part of my life. Thank you Keter Betts and Darrell Nulisch for your kind words. Thank you Joan Matthews for being such a loveable funkster. Finally, thank you David Earl, without you, this album would not exist. — Benjie
Benjie Porecki: Piano, Organ, Electric Piano
Alex Schultz: Guitar
Steve Gomes: Bass
Robb Stupka: Drums
Produced by Benjie Porecki
Executive Producer: David Earl
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Rival at My Generation Studios, Somerville, MA
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer, Air Show, Inc., Springfield, VA
Photography and Digital Enhancement: Randy Santos, Randolph Photography
All photos shot on location at the Sportsman’s Lounge, Baltimore, MD
CD Design: Atelier Design, Washington, D.C.