172

Roni Ben-Hur: Anna's Dance

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
While Roni Ben-Hur has been on the scene since the mid-1980's, when he moved to the United States from Israel to study with Barry Harris, he still remains unknown to the larger listening public. With the release of his first Reservoir recording, though, Ben-Hur has proven himself to be a proficient and insightful musician with a clarity of tone and concept.

True to his friends who have supported him from the beginning, Ben-Hur has included Barry Harris, Walter Booker, Charles Davis and Leroy Williams on Anna's Dance. Thus, the treat of the CD is quadrupled. Even though he is heard in New York where he continues to teach and inspire, Harris records too seldom. We get to hear him once again, relaxed and insightful as he enriches each of the tunes. Beyond Harris' participation, though, the entire group maintains the same interest in, and same feel for, their music, thereby attaining a unity of sound that's affecting and yet near the edge.

"Anna's Dance" refers to Ben-Hur's daughter, whose grace must be a sight to behold since the tune itself seamlessly and subtly changes movements from meditative warm-up to the glide of a light samba. Just as important, though, is the mature comfort that Ben-Hur expresses as he unfolds his solo, layer upon layer of variations eventually assuming a total shape once the piece is done.

Saxophonist Davis blends into the group, his warm tone reassuring even as it contains an almost unnoticeable bite. Strayhorn's "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing" allows Davis to stretch out in a way reminiscent of Joe Henderson, and yet the tune gives Harris the opportunity to reach the emotional essence of the tune. In fact, Harris contributed two of the tunes for Anna's Dance, "For Dizzy" giving Booker a showcase for setting a bass-led foundation upon which the others build. Harris' other tune, "Minor Fable," follows serpentine lines as an improvisational springboard for the others.

Yet, the sound of the recording always evolves back to Ben-Hur, whose ability to listen to his friends' ideas even as he gently leads the group makes the listener take notice. Ben-Hur's wordless invitation to his music can't be denied.

http://www.reservoirmusic.com

Track Listing: So Nice, Visa, Anna's Dance, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing, For Dizzy, Minor Fable

Personnel: Roni Ben-Hur, guitar; Charles Davis, tenor sax; Barry Harris, piano; Walter Booker, bass; Leroy Williams, drums

| Record Label: Reservoir Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Troy Collins
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Cuts" CD/LP/Track Review Cuts
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Carve" CD/LP/Track Review Carve
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Roma-Rio" CD/LP/Track Review Roma-Rio
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!