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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini / Roni Ben-Hur: Smile: Jazz Therapy Volume 1

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In November 2007, Roni Ben-Hur and his bassist Earl May approached Motema Records with a great idea: They would record a duo CD, pro bono, as a fundraiser for the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund, a trust created by Engelwood Hospital and Medical Center to fund health care for jazz musicians who can't afford it (i.e. just about every player not named Wynton Marsalis). May's sudden death the following January could have sent this worthy concept off the rails; instead, Gene ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini / Roni Ben-Hur: Smile: Jazz Therapy Volume 1

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This is a terrific release for several reasons. For one thing, everyone involved in the CD's creation and promotion donated their services, which funnels all proceeds directly to the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund of the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey. According to Jana Herzen, president of Motema Music, Smile:Jazz Therapy Volume 1 is the first of a series that will benefit this and other Jazz Foundation of America projects. As a result, a worthy cause matches ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini / Roni Ben-Hur: Jazz Therapy, Volume 1: Smile

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Smile, the inaugural CD from Motema's Jazz Therapy series, comes from guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur and benefits a very worthy cause. The proceeds from the album, the first recorded collaboration between the pair, go to the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood Hospital, providing free medical care to jazz musicians in need. The music is beautiful and, dare one say, therapeutic. The guitarists work well together, with Bertoncini's lyrical nylon string work complementing Ben-Hur's more ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini: Concerti

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What could possibly be better than hearing guitarist extraordinaire Gene Bertoncini on Concerti? Simply, being ten feet away from the bandstand and viewing his quicksilver style of playing, astounding an appreciative audience. Bertoncini, over the course of several decades, has become an elder statesman plectrist, working in a number of settings--solo, duet, trio or larger ensembles. On Concierti , Bertoncini works with members of The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he has been ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini: Concerti

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At 70, guitarist Gene Bertoncini continues to make standards and classics breathe and shimmer, inviting listeners to experience them in new ways. On Concerti, his considerable skill at navigating a nylon-stringed guitar are complemented by a group of highly capable string players and clever arrangements, all crucial to this winning endeavor. Engineer Mark Conese deserves mention for the excellent sound quality of this recording, which he co-produced. Allying with strings is more than a gimmick or a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Bertoncini: Concerti

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Concerti is twenty-six strings vibrating: A string quartet--two violins, a viola and a cello--with a bass added on the bottom end, fronted by the nylon-string acoustic guitar of Gene Bertoncini.A top notch guitarist who has taught for forty years at the Eastman School of Music, Bertoncini enlisted some of his colleagues from the school to arrange for the string section. The results are a buoyant and sweet mix of jazz sidling up to the classical side of sound.

INTERVIEWS

Gene Bertoncini: Architect of the Guitar

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Whenever people write about Gene Bertoncini's music, the same words tend to appear: elegant, graceful, versatile. Lyrical. Master. Virtuoso. Writer Gene Lees called him “the Segovia of jazz," the perfect term for one who creates such poetry with the acoustic, nylon-stringed guitar. Still a busy performer, teacher, and clinician, Bertoncini has played in many styles and settings in his five-decade career, and swings in all of them. Following the 2004 release of Quiet Now (Ambient), he has become increasingly admired ...

PODCAST

Gene Bertoncini: Acoustic Electricity

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Jason Crane interviews guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Raised in the Bronx, Bertoncini began his musical education at an early age, encouraged by his parents. He studied architecture at Notre Dame before deciding on a life of music. That decision was a smart one -- Bertoncini has since performed with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the Benny Goodman Sextet, Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Burt Bacharach, Michel LeGrand and many others. He's also on the faculty at the Tritone Jazz Camp (tritonejazz.com). ...



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