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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 ...

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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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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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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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Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open

Read "Keepin' It Open" reviewed by Andrew Rowan

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 ...

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Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open

Read "Keepin' It Open" reviewed by J Hunter

Thanks to the worthy efforts of ambassadors ranging from Louis Armstrong to Norman Grantz, jazz fans have been gifted with a raft of international players whose work teems with the influence of some of the genre's biggest legends. One example: Roni Ben-Hur, the Israeli guitarist who has been serving up an Old School sound reminiscent of Grant Green. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Ben-Hur in concert with Santi Debriano, bassist on Keepin' It Open--Ben-Hur's fifth disc as a ...

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Roni Ben-Hur: Signature

Read "Signature" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The person and musician who is Roni Ben-Hur comes shining through on Signature. The record so full of joy that it is easy to just sit back, relax and enjoy a hour's worth of fine music--and it's much more than just good playing. The late pianist John Hicks, a pro's pro if there ever was one, is in sync with Ben-Hur every step of the way through the varying emotions and styles of these tunes. Ben-Hur is ...

MEGAPHONE

Jazz and Milk

Read "Jazz and Milk" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Roni Ben-Hur Choosing a career as a jazz musician, from an economic stand point, is the same as making a high risk investment. The returns could practically be a dream come true or a disastrous state of affairs. For most of us, it is some of both. To make sure we don't end up with unpaid bills, we diversify the way we make ends meet. For me, that means performing in many different situations ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Roni Ben-Hur: Anna's Dance

Read "Anna's Dance" reviewed by AAJ Staff

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, ...


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