241

Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open

By

Sign in to view read count
Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open 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't We Be Friends; Eshkolit; Think of One; My Man, Harris; Like A Lover; Back When; One Second Please; Indian Summer; Andaluza; Recado Bossa Nova.

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

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Motema Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Salão Brazil CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Behind The Mist CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Sedimental You CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Pulsation" CD/LP/Track Review Pulsation
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Upbeat And Sweet" CD/LP/Track Review Upbeat And Sweet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 13, 2017

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!