A Lot of Livin’ To Do (Self-produced)

Benny Benack III

Released January 2020

Jazziz Best Albums of 2020





Hailed by the New York Times as “a charismatic young trumpeter who maintains an earnest sideline as a singer,” Pittsburgh-born, New York-based jazz trumpeter & singer Benny Benack III has quickly established himself as one of the most versatile and virtuosic voices of his generation.
On January 24, 2020, Benack released his sophomore album, A Lot of Livin To Do. Lending his talents to the record is world renowned bassist and six time Grammy winner, Christian McBride. Rounding out the band are Ulysses Owens Jr. and Takeshi Ohbayashi on drums and piano respectively. The album also features Veronica Swift and Alita Moses, two special guest vocalists who are making waves in the jazz world right now. Benack set out to capture the joy that playing jazz has given him his throughout his entire life, and he took influence from some of his favorite trumpeters and vocalists as this record is as much about the cool crooning of Chet Baker as the hard-bop flair of Freddie Hubbard.

Track Listing:

1. Lot of Livin’ to Do (Charles Strouse) 04:09

2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Fred Rogers) 03:45

3. Social Call (Gigi Gryce) 04:21

4. What the World Needs Now (Burt Bacharach) 05:35

5. It’s You I Like (Fred Rogers) 04:17

6. New Born Blues (Benny Benack III) 04:46

7. Irrepressible (Benny Benack III) 04:28

8. Where Is the Love (Ralph MacDonald / William Salter) 03:58

9. Gravy Waltz (Ray Brown) 04:48

10. The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel) 07:58

11. Later On (Benny Benack III) 06:01

12. Sub-Zero (Benny Benack III) 06:37


Benny Benack III: trumpet

Takeshi Ohbayashi: piano

Christian McBride: bass

Ulysses Owens, Jr.: drums

Recorded January 3, 2019, at Sear Sound Studio (studio A), by Chris Sulit

Mixing and Mastering: Dave Darlington

Cover Photo: Rayon Richards

Producer: Ulysses Owens Jr.


If you want to swing, if you want melody and good song compositions, this is the album for you. Benny Benack III positively swings in A Lot of Livin’ To Do, featuring a liberal approach to the Great American Songbook and a few other gems, as well as special guest Christian McBride on bass. In addition to being a trumpeter, Benack III is a great vocalist in the Rat Pack style and it’s rare these days to see an instrumentalist wear both hats as remarkably.

Matt Micucci (Jazziz)