Fortuna (Motema 2009)


Roni Ben-Hur - guitar 
Ronnie Mathews - piano 
Rufus Reid - bass 
Lewis Nash - drums 
Steve Kroon - percussion

1. Fortuna 
2. I Got Lost In His Arms 
3. Guess Who 
4. Modinha 
5. The Intimacy of the Blues 
6. Were Thine That Special Face 
7. A Sleepin Bee 
8. Granada 
9. You Are There 
10. So Tinha De Ser Com Voce

Press on "Fortuna"

"Roni Ben-Hur plays bebop and its related genres, as well as sambas and bossas, with consummate élan, always delivering deeply musical performances to greet the ears." 

– Zan Stewart, The Newark Star Ledger 

"Sophisticated and lyrical." – Nate Chinen, New York Times 

"Lyrically meditative." – Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal 

"A superior straight-ahead guitarist who can swing as hard as anyone." – Scott Yanow, 

"Ben-Hur is a killer guitarist and leader.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record 

“A limber and inventive guitarist, often heard with Barry Harris and the Elmo Hope memorial group, Ben-Hur keeps the modernist flame alive and pure, with a low flame burning in every note. An inventive bebop romp by a guitarist who knows the changes and his own mind." 

– Gary Giddins, Village Voice 

“One of the Top 10 CD’s of 2009” – Dan Morgenstern, Annual Review of Jazz Studies 

“Ben-Hur has a band that literally can do no wrong... (Fortuna) Marks a pinnacle moment in his laudable career...comes highly recommended, for lovers or lovers at heart.” [Read more] 

– Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide 

“A keen story teller, Ben-Hur’s dexterous, melodic and emotive playing is supported by a tight-knit cast of stellar musicians…his skill and warm tone underscoring the band’s chemistry.” [Read more] 

– Sharonne Cohen, JazzTimes 

"These guys practically define top-shelf, and Ben-Hur is always tasteful and inventive." [Read more] 

– Karl Stark, The Philadelphia Inquirer 

"Great feeling, taste and impeccable easy swing . . . I wouldn't want to be without this one. One of the Top 10 CD’s in 2009."

– Mark Gardner, The Jazz Journal (UK) 

“Beginning with the romantic title tune, the in-the groove chemistry of the group is as evident as it is irresistible.” Read more 

– Andrew Vélez, All About Jazz, New York 

“Breathtaking in its evocative rhythms and textures, all gorgeously traversed by Ben-Hur's classically oriented playing.” Read more 

– Ron Netsky, City Newspapers 

"Ben-Hur is a master of fluency modulated by flawless taste." – Michael Hochanadel, Daily Gazette 

"Guitar Jazz at its finest" – 20th Century Guitar 

"Roni can easily become your favorite guitar player" – Frank Forte, Just Jazz Guitar 

"... Signature is a collection of consummately played music that matches the six stringer's consistently creative melody reading, soloing and comping with the supportive work of superb sidemen. "Ben-Hur' original compositions are similarly impressive, from opening burner "Mama Bee," which dazzles with a brilliantly constructed guitar solo, to "Eretz," a gorgeous ballad intended as a tribute to the guitarist's native Israel; the latter feels like an instant standard..." 

– Philip Booth, DownBeat 

The exemplary guitarist and composer Roni Ben-Hur offers resplendent bebop-and-beyond jazz via his glowing sound, his buoyant melodic lines and his keen ear for choice material. This is tasty, expansive music with the potential to touch a wealth of listeners. Read more 

– Zan Stewart, The Star Ledger 

“History will dictate that you can count on guitarist, educator, and author Roni Ben-Hur to produce a quality product. A much-admired technician and idea-man, his seventh release as a leader presents a modern mainstream outlook, spiced with Steve Kroon’s buoyant and textural world-groove percussion treatments. Ben-Hur’s band signifies a jazz superstar conglomeration, including pianist Ronnie Mathews, who sadly, died of pancreatic cancer on June 28, 2008. Read more 

– Glenn Astarita, Jazz 

“Fortuna is a worthwhile addition to any jazz enthusiast’s collection. It is filled with first class performances by some excellent musicians and the record covers a lot of stylistic ground; there is no lack of variety here. If Fortuna is any indication, we should be the beneficiaries of more great things in the future from Roni Ben-Hur.” Read more 

– Kengon Gonzalez, Rivetting 

“Fortuna is a sparkling ode to the brightness of life.” – J. Hunter, All About Jazz 

“Here’s a guitar man we dug right from the start and he hasn’t let us down yet. The Blue Note/Wes Montgomery vibe and spirit never feels far away, but all in all, Ben-Hur is doing something new and original building on those bases. Simply a crisp, enjoyable date that puts the guitar front and center while giving the rest of the esteemed ensemble some, this high octane mainstream outing gives you a righteous dose of what you want to come here for. A solid, sure bet for jazz guitar fans.” Read More 

– Midwest Record 

"Ben-Hur's inquisitive lines seem to seek something either unknown or lost and reward most when the investigations surround his own compositions . . ." 

– Russell Carlson, Jazz Times