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Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Stories

Read "Stories" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, originally from Israel, has absorbed a lot of different cultures and styles into his music. That is reflected on this CD in the variety of music played here: straight ahead jazz as well as Latin and Middle Eastern folk melodies. Mexican singer Magos Herrera brings a sense of husky passion to the songs “La Serena" and “A Redoblar" that sits nicely beside Ben-Hur's warm guitar chords, Ingrid Jensen's soaring trumpet and George Cables' crafty piano ...

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Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Stories

Read "Stories" reviewed by John Chacona


Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur is an old soul. Uninterested in ostentation, the Israeli-born guitarist has been content to release a series of warm-hearted recordings that favor partnership over pomposity. Half his 12 leader dates have been duets or are co-credited. Stories isn't one of them, but it might as well be. This is an ensemble recording, patient and glowing with wisdom. Ben-Hur is helped by the elder masters he often chooses to bring gravity and wisdom to his dates. ...

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Radio

Flying Blind

Read "Flying Blind" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


Time to plunge our hands into the review-copy grab-bag and hope nothing bites. Good news—no flesh wounds, just four brand-spankin' new 2021 releases by artists who are also new to us (if not the public at large) and all of them have something to offer. Trigger warning—the Dave Mathews Band may be mentioned, briefly during this episode.Playlist Discussion of Paul Bedal's album Cerulian Stars (BACE Records) 7:45 Discussion of Jeff Coffin's album Let It Shine (Ear Up Records) ...

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Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur & Santi Debriano Featuring Duduka Da Fonseca: Our Thing

Read "Our Thing" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes


Recorded in early 2011, Our Thing marks the first studio collaboration of guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and bassist Santi Debriano. They have worked together in a live setting on numerous occasions and are joined, in this endeavor, by drummer/percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca, who brings an extra flavor to the music.The CD opens with Thelonious Monk's “Green Chimneys," a complex track that allows the musicians to fully stretch their chops. Da Fonseca and Debriano begin with a samba-like groove, and ...

284

Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Fortuna

Read "Fortuna" reviewed by Andrew Velez


This is a worthy follow-up to Roni Ben-Hur's Smile (Motema, 2009), on which he was memorably paired with fellow guitarist Gene Bertoncini. The Israeli-born composer and arranger is teamed here with three stalwarts, the late pianist Ronnie Mathews, percussionist Steve Kroon and drummer Lewis Nash. This is the same rhythm section Ben-Hur used for the album that preceded Smile, 2005's Keepin' It Open (Motema Music). They're joined by bassist Rufus Reid, with whom Ben-Hur worked on the guitarist's fourth release ...

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Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Fortuna

Read "Fortuna" reviewed by J Hunter


The most famous lyric from Charlie Chaplin's bittersweet song “Smile" is, “Smile, though your heart is aching/Smile, even though it's breaking." Roni Ben-Hur knows that methodology, and how: Smile (Motema, 2008), Ben-Hur's benefit disc with fellow guitarist Gene Bertoncini, was originally conceived as a duet with Ben-Hur's longtime bassist Earl May, who died before recording began. Another Ben-Hur sideman, pianist Ronnie Mathews, was battling cancer during the Fortuna sessions, and succumbed to the disease shortly afterwards. In that light, it ...

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Album Review

Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open

Read "Keepin' It Open" reviewed by Budd Kopman


Roni Ben-Hur, originally from Israel, has been a mainstay of the New York straight-ahead scene for twenty years now. Having a style that is clearly out of the Wes Montgomery/Grant Green mold, Ben-Hur makes no apologies for his predilection for the sound and style of the Blue Note label from the fifties and sixties. Like saxophonist Scott Hamilton, Ben-Hur has internalized this music and plays from within its essence, rather than at it, adding the sounds and emotions from his ...


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