JazzTimes - p.91
"Playing an archtop guitar and projecting a full, round tone, he favors buoyant, brush-stroked swing, harmonically tart compositions by Thelonious Monk and Elmo Hope..."
Personnel: Roni Ben-Hur (guitar); Santi Debriano (bass instrument); Jeremy Pelt (trumpet); Ronnie Mathews (piano); Lewis Nash (drums); Steve Kroon (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Bill Milkowski.
Recording information: Bennett Studio, Englewood, NJ (09/27/2005/09/28/2005).
Photographer: John Abbott .
A superior straight-ahead guitarist who can swing as hard as anyone, Roni Ben-Hur alternates jazz standards with some unusual material on Keepin' It Open, his fifth CD as a leader. Heading a sextet that also features fine solos from trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and pianist Ronnie Mathews, Ben-Hur explores an Israeli folk song ("Eshkolit"), the Spanish piece "Andaluza," "Recado Bossa Nova," and two of his originals in addition to three well-known pieces, Elmo Hope's "One Second Please" and Thelonious Monk's "Think of One." Everything works well and there is not a slow moment throughout this enjoyable outing. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow