Michael Benedict & Bopitude

Veteran drummer Michael Benedict’s mission statement comes through loud and clear in the title of this aggressively swinging hard-bop offering. Benedict leads his crew-pianist Bruce Barth, trumpeter Chris Pasin, saxophonist Brian Patneaude and bassist Mike Lawrence-through faithful covers of Dexter Gordon’s “Cheese Cake,” Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” Hank Mobley’s ebullient “B for BB” and two hard-bop anthems: Kenny Dorham’s “Whistle Stop” and Bobby Timmons’ “Moanin’.” Benedict also showcases his authentic N’awlins second-line groove on a rendition of Bobby Watson’s postbop number “Heckle & Jeckle” (from 1990’s The Inventor). Straight-ahead fans will surely dig this.