Reservoir Music to Release

RED CAT PUBLICITY J a s o n B y r n e 415 85th Street, #3R, Brooklyn, NY, 11209, tel 718 921 1330 Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. On June 28, 2005 Reservoir Music Releases SIGNATURE The New Recording from Guitarist RONI BEN-HUR Featuring John Hicks, Rufus Reid, Leroy Williams and Steve Kroon "As eloquent as a cool breeze, this understated exercise in bebop equilibrium goes down so easy you might underestimate the magic. A limber and inventive guitarist, who is often heard with Barry Harris and the Elmo Hope memorial group, Ben-Hur keeps the modernist flame alive and pure. An inventive bebop romp by a guitarist who knows the changes and his own mind." Gary Giddins The Village Voice "A thousand jazz fans rose as one in a standing ovation for the gifted lyricism of Roni Ben-Hur on guitar." The Amsterdam News "When historians look back at the start of this millennium, they'll definitely single out Roni Ben-Hur as one of the best and brightest guitarists of his time -- and for all time." --- Renowned jazz writer Leslie Gourse FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Brooklyn, NY) On June 28, 2005 Reservoir Music proudly releases Signature, the fourth recording from guitarist, composer, arranger, educator and author, Roni Ben-Hur. Winner of the JAZZIZ 2000 Reader’s Poll for "Best New Talent" and a favorite of jazz critics since his emergence on the scene in the 1990’s, Ben-Hur reveals on Signature his evolution and accomplishments as a composer, arranger and leader of strength and substance, whose synthesis of styles and cultural influences defy category. Signature is also Ben-Hur’s most personal statement on record yet, featuring music that is near and dear to the guitarist's heart. Throughout the recording, Ben-Hur, with John Hicks on piano, Rufus Reid on bass, Leroy Williams on drums and Steve Kroon on percussion, delivers melodically and rhythmically rich versions of originals, and compositions by Jobim, Porter, Hicks, Arlen and Heitor Villa-Lobos. With the release of Signature Roni Ben-Hur offers the world a piece of himself; a glimpse into his life, his mind and his heart, and therefore his most meaningful musical statement to date. Signature will be in stores on June 28, 2005, on Reservoir Music. Ben-Hur’s highly unique versions of the diverse material on Signature has the guitarist bravely covering new ground, including jazz renditions of compositions from the legendary Brazilian classical composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). Ben-Hur puts his "signature" on the beautiful "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2" and "Choro No. 1." On covering Villa Lobos Ben-Hur said, "Lobos’ music evokes strong emotion in me connected to various phases of my life experience. I was finally able to give these emotions a voice, my voice, and tell my story through them." He continues the development of this concept throughout the CD in his passionate reinvention of an obscure Jobim tune, "Luiza." Says Roni, "Jobim wrote this gorgeous tune for his daughter, Ana Luiza. My second daughter’s name is also Anna Luiza, so it was very easy for me to connect with it. It is a song not often played, but in my mind, one of Jobim’s masterpieces." Of the lush standard, "Time On My Hands," Roni recalls, "I’ve played this song a great deal with my friend, and one of my inspirations, pianist Chris Anderson. This arrangement is his and I offer this as a tribute to him and to the beauty he’s brought this world." Ben-Hur continues, "I, like everyone else, love Harold Arlen, and Blues in the Night to me represents a sort of a bonding song. It talks about pit falls in life, but to me it feels more like sharing your feelings with a friend more then a lament." "So In Love," the Cole Porter classic, "drew me from the first time I heard it," says Roni. "Both the words and melody speak to me, and it represents how I feel toward my family, friends and lot in this world." Of his adventurous and compelling originals Roni explains, "Eretz, which means land in Hebrew, is a prayer for peace, something we Jewish people haven’t known for much too long, and that the whole world needs desperately." "Mama Bee," his other original," is devoted to my wife Amy, a very talented lady, who works hard and always puts her family first. It’s an up tempo song based on All God’s Chillin’ and the tempo mirrors Amy’s amazing energy, always multi-tasking at a frenzied pace to get everything done for her family and students." His wife, Amy London, is a vocalist and Professor of Vocal Studies at The New School in NYC. The couple often performs together and shares two young daughters, Anna and Sofia. Of his Signature band, Roni says, "Everyone in this band gave themselves to this project 100% without any ego issues. There was a lot of love in the studio. This is my first project with John Hicks, whom I’ve always admired. He was everything I expected and more, adding wonderful colors to my arrangements and his hard swinging original song, Slowly But Surely, on this CD. In the last few years, Rufus Reid and I have had a chance to work together more often. We had an immediate connection and talked about recording together right away. Rufus gave himself completely to this project, contributing his great sound and swing feel, and pulled together the challenging arrangements of the Villa-Lobos pieces. Leroy Williams and I have been working together for about 12 years now in Barry Harris’ band, and he appears on all of my CD’s and I on his. He always swings hard and, at the same, is very sensitive to what everyone else is playing. Steve Kroon and I met not long before this project on another record date. He was a great addition to the band, adding lots of colors and rhythm and was also very intuitive, knowing immediately what I was looking for and what he could do to embellish my ideas. I hope listeners will get lost in the sincerity of our music, and that it will open their hearts." As a leader, Ben-Hur has won high praise from jazz critics around the world for his previous three recordings, Backyard (TCB-1996), Sofia's Butterfly (TCB-1998) and Anna's Dance (Reservoir Music- 2001). Cadence says, "A gorgeous offering." Fast Taste writes, "With a crisp, controlled delivery, a sharp ear for melody and a refreshing air of originality, Ben-Hur leads the conversation." Among his most ardent admirers is award-winning writer Gary Giddins, who selected Ben-Hur's Anna's Dance as "One of the Best Jazz CD’s of 2001" in The Village Voice, describing him as "a guitarist with a low flame burning in every note." In addition to his activities as a leader and a world-class educator, Ben-Hur has also performed and recorded as a sideman of choice with such jazz luminaries as Barry Harris, Chris Anderson, Walter Booker, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Cecil Payne, Charles McPherson, Earl May, Etta Jones, Teri Thornton, Charles Davis, Bill Doggett and Marcus Belgrave. Fellow Artists on Signature: "I think the world of this album. People who buy this album will get something extraordinary. There is a very different spirit to each of the tunes and, of course, his great playing. Accurate, beautiful tone, and all that great stuff!" -Gene Bertoncini-Legendary Jazz Guitarist "Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch." - Russell Malone-Jazz Guitarist Extraordinaire For more information, to receive a press kit or to schedule an interview with Roni Ben-Hur, please contact Jason Byrne at Red Cat Publicity, tel 718 921 1330, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ***When surfing the web click on and***

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Roni Ben-Hur
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