There's something to be said about the sureness with which Ben Aronov and Jay Leonhart play as a duo. A recording they did in the studio in the '80s was pushed back for years, finally released as Alone Together. The title could not be more fitting. The album stands as a work of syncretism; Aronov was an established jazzman before he met and befriended Jay Leonhart and, by then, Leonhart had made a name for himself in the jazz community. Each is a musician in his own right, with experiences cut out through different projects, but whose startlingly unified collaboration makes them seem like destined partners.
"Como en Vietnam" is so lovely a track that any writer's description, no matter how careful, will inevitably fail to convey how elegant, smart and electric it is. Leonhart is discreet and plays a well-executed supporting role, and Aronov's piano produces notes that can inspire a rich sense of wanderlust and pleasant nostalgia in any listener. "One for the Rhode" is an earthy platform for Leonhart's unbelievable talent. The bass creates a sexy, earthy piece with a turbulent, but precise consistency.
But given how strong many pieces are, it is disappointing to see that unimpressive, even slightly sloppy ones like "A Child is Born" and "Parallel Universe" made it onto the record, potentially threatening to overshadow the highpoints.
And though Alone Together arrives many years late, it was well worth waiting for. Aronov and Leonhart appear to be beholden to the rules of exquisite wine brewing: the years have done their work nothing if not good.
Track Listing: Alone Together; Virgo; The Girl Next Door; A Child Is Born; Come Rain or Come Shine; Bye; This Is New; Pettiford Brown; Como en Vietnam; My One and Only Love; April; Parallel Universes; One for the Rhode.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.