Ben Makinen The Goliath Beetle & the Ladybug Bmakin Music  By Jon Solomon Thursday, Nov 29 2012 Ben Makinen, who's been a professional drummer for close to three decades, says the inspiration for his solo electronic album came from a dream he had in which he was visited by an ancient butterfly that told him a story of love between a gruff Goliath beetle and a beautiful ladybug. In the dream, their families rejected them, so the beetle and the ladybug looked for refuge and acceptance in a distant land. Makinen, who plays all of the instruments here, has translated that dream into an intriguing eleven-track album that delves into ambient and techno while occasionally tossing in Middle Eastern or Latin flavors on cuts like "Beetle and Bug and Cupid's Arrow" and "La Femme Nikita." Since Makinen is a drummer, it's no surprise that a lot of cuts are built around interesting electronic percussion and beats, including the deep groove on "The Goliath Confession. ” - Jon Solomon

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John Kite Anything Goes! Bmakin Music By Jon Solomon Thursday, Oct 11 2012 Although John Kite has been the featured pianist at the Brown Palace Hotel for the last 25 years, Anything Goes! marks his first solo album. Drawing from Tin Pan Alley-era songs and jazz standards, Kite kicks off the disc with a peppy take on a Cole Porter tune in which he also sings. He gets more meditative on Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" and tosses in a quote from the standard "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Con Te Partirò," made famous by Andrea Bocelli. The pianist sprinkles in bits of other tunes on "Stardust" and "It Might as Well as Be Spring." The resulting game of "name that tune" in the middle of these songs will keep listeners on their toes. ” - Jon Solomon

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Leslie Brown - Tenderly Bmakin Music  By Jon Solomon Thursday, Sep 20 2012 - Denver Westword  Save for a rousing take on Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Leslie Brown's Tenderly is an unhurried affair — and that's as it should be, because the singer's relaxed delivery is suited to songs that are slow and slinky, such as opener "He Must Be in Love" and the gorgeous title track.  Even the Champs' normally upbeat "Tequila" is slowed down a few notches, turned into a laid-back, swinging groove by drummer Ben Makinen, with some deft piano playing by Art Lande. Elsewhere, the Eagles' "Hotel California" and Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" get innovative jazzy treatments.  Brown is in complete control of her voice, and there's a certain purity that runs throughout the disc, which is ideal for late-night listening.  ” - Jon Solomon

Westword

Clay CabeThe UnderworldBmakin Music For a guy who grew up learning to play Click|keyword[Elton+John]">Elton John songs on his autoharp while listening to the radio, Clay Cabe has quite an affinity for funk. Although his debut, 2003's December, was an acoustic-driven folk-rock album, TheClick|keyword[Underworld+(Band)]">Underworld is more of an eclectic effort. There are still a few folk ballads present, such as "The Spider and the Fly," but other cuts are rooted in funk and rock, especially the title track, which features some first-rate shredding from guitaristClick|keyword[Mitch+Chmara]">Mitch Chmara, and "Freak." "We're Not Through," meanwhile, has a Spanish feel (with some tasty solo work by Click|keyword[Mitchell+Long]">Mitchell Long). With additional help from bassist Click|keyword[Dave+Randon]">Dave Randon and drummer Click|keyword[Ben+Makinen]">Ben MakinenClick|keyword[Clay+Cabe]">Cabe has crafted a much more ambitious offering this time out.” - Jon Solomon

Westword

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