241

Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open

By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur has assembled an impressive cast for Keepin' It Open: trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Santi Debriano, drummer Lewis Nash and percussionist Steve Kroon—a who's who of contemporary mainstream jazz exploring a beautifully varied selection of tunes.

The proceedings open with Ben-Hur in the time-honored guitar trio setting, offering a fleet yet relaxed reading of "Can't We Be Friends. Also included on this session are thoughtful treatments of familiar material like "Indian Summer and Thelonious Monk's "Think of One. On the latter, Mathews adds the flavor of Monk without resorting to imitation or parody. Adding to the session's variety are a Spanish-themed "Andaluza (an unfortunately overly respectful reading) and two nicely turned bossa novas with distinct, varied treatments. On "Like A Lover the leader's tone gains a bit of sting and Kroon enhances the rhythm discreetly. On "Recado Bossa Nova, Ben-Hur sets a festive mood that each of the players catches and enhances.

Pelt shines on the elegiac "Eshkolit, a traditional Sephardic melody. The leader's original "My Man, Harris (dedicated to mentor Barry Harris) features the quintet (sans Kroon), with each member acquitting himself honorably, especially Mathews and Pelt, who raise the temperature markedly. These proceedings are capped by a short, crisp Nash spot. Elsewhere, Pelt's pensive introduction sets the stage for the afterglow of "Indian Summer. Ben-Hur's "Back When has a reflective feel, with especially affecting ensemble voicings. Hear how Nash propels the band along, while remaining unobtrusive. Ben-Hur honors piano giant Elmo Hope with "One Second Please, all hands responding superbly to the boppish theme and Mathews skillfully negotiating Hope's very personal changes.

Sessions like Keepin' It Open keep the jazz spirit alive and well. No new ground is broken but, rather, a group of consummate professionals offer their variations on a well-chosen musical program, full of invention, great ideas and honest emotions.

Track Listing: Can

Personnel: Roni Ben-Hur: guitar; Santi Debriano: bass; Lewis Nash: drums; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Jeremy Pelt: trumpet; Steve Kroon: percussion.

Title: Keepin' It Open | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Motema Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Beginnings CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Synchronic CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Ma De Re Sha" CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Streams
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "How to Build a City" CD/LP/Track Review How to Build a City
by Jim Olin
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "The Tenth Muse" CD/LP/Track Review The Tenth Muse
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.