Album Review of
Knights Of The Round Table

Written by Robert Silverstein
April 30, 2024 - 6:16pm EDT
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It’s not every day you find a drummer that is also a bandleader and composer but that’s the story on the 2023 CD by Florida-based ensemble known as Madre Vaca. Featuring the music and drumming skills of Benjamin Shorstein, Knights Of The Round Table is a jazzy / orchestral album that pays a tribute to the bygone era of King Arthur.

All instrumental and filled with soaring jazzy passages, the 10-track, 57-minute album works on a number of levels. Parts of the album are also somewhat reminiscent of the beautiful music of the great Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal from the 1970s. Also pianist Mike Garson is another influence here.

On one level, Knights Of The Round Table works as a jazzy big band album, considering there is a full horn section with a number of wind-blown instruments. The colorful album production of Benjamin Shorstein and JeanCarlo Medez is also first rate.

There’s also a contemporary jazz-fusion element to the overall sound, further enhanced by Benjamin Shorstein’s tasty drumming along with notable performances by Jarrett Carter (guitar), Jonah Pierre (piano) and Thomas Milovac (bass). Mr. Shorstein’s sister Rebecca adds in a few cameo vocals on couple tracks.

With its historic backdrop, Knights Of The Round Table is also fun to follow in its historic context. All the heroes and aspects from the era of King Arthur are mentioned in the well-crafted CD booklet including Galahad, Guinevere, Lancelot and more. Madre Vaca’s Knights Of The Round Table is an impressive orchestral jazz tribute to the long bygone era of King Arthur and Camelot.