Signature (Reservoir 2005)
Roni Ben-Hur - guitar
John Hicks - piano
Rufus Reid - bass
Leroy Williams - drums
Steve Kroon - percussion
1. Mama Bee (Ben-Hur)
2. Bachianas Brasileiras No.2, Aria (Villa-Lobos)
3. Blues In The Night (Arlen)
4. Eretz (Ben-Hur)
5. Slowly But Surely (Hicks)
6. Choro No.1 (Villa-Lobos)
7. Time On My Hands (Adamson, Gordon, Youmans)
8. Luiza (Jobim)
9. So In Love (Porter)
Press on "Signature"
"Mr. Ben-Hur applies his hollow-body guitar skills to songbook standards and Heitor Villa-Lobos pieces, with equal charm and aplomb... a talented guitarist and composer."
– Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Listening to him on his latest Reservoir CD "Siganture," or in person with his band or with [Barry] Harris... and you hear a deep musician. A storyteller, he works with a warm, glowing sound and has an alluring way of combining engaging notes with supple rhythm."
– Zan Stewart, The Newark Star Ledger
"... 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
"His belief in jazz as a beacon of enlightenment comes beaming through in varicolored moods ranging from his sparkling showpiece, 'Mama Bee,' to his deeply felt prayer for peace for his homeland in a composition called, 'Eretz' (Hebrew for 'land')."
– Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant
"... a genuine talent... Signature is worth seeking out." – Nick Bewsey, Primetime
"... every song on this recording is exquisite and is communicated with the utmost quality that exemplifies and resonates Roni Ben-Hur's signature sound."
– Paula Edelstein, Allmusic.com
"With lyricism and accomplished ease and technical versatility, Roni Ben-Hur has added another dimension to his work now as he has recorded an album that reflects who he is…and where he came from."
– Don Williamson, JazzReview.com
"From the first few bars of Ben-Hur's opener, Mama Bee, a burner on the changes to All God's Children Got Rhythm, anyone with an ear for jazz guitar will know that this guy is something special. No wonder the guy is attracting so much attention in the Apple."
– Jazz Society of Oregon
" . . . a great listening experience, pure and simple... world class all the way. Hot stuff..."
– Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
" . . . simply a superior player and improviser hooking up with some extremely talented cohorts to produce an album that maintains the listener's attention and admiration throughout its duration."
– Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
"He continues to assert his place in the pantheon of guitar greats with Signature"
– P. Christopher Dowd, All About Jazz
"'Signature' is a showcase for Roni Ben-Hur's amazing guitar and compositional and arranging talent... Ben-Hur at his creative best."
– Frank Forte, Just Jazz Guitar
"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, JazzTimes
"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
" . . .every cut on the new one is just terrific!" – Brian Delp, WBGO FM
"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, often heard with Barry Harris and the Elmo Hope memorial group, BenHur 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
"BenHur is a traditionalist, casting the strings of his vintage Gibson back to jazz guitar's glorious past. He delivers lilting, ebulliently swinging bebop classics and melodic originals. Throughout, BenHur proves that the guitar can be one of the most elegant and expressive voices in jazz."
"A thousand jazz fans rose as one in a standing ovation for the gifted lyricism of Roni Ben-Hur on guitar."
– Amsterdam News