By Hilary Brown | Published August 2018
Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur is an established jazz figurehead with a keen sensitivity to his personnel and a limber, near-effortless fluidity. On Introspection—where he’s joined by a savvy outfit comprising bassist Harvie S and drummer Tim Horner—his trio revisits a batch of lesser-known compositions, bringing mindfulness and nuance to the forefront on a set of 10 tunes.
Much as the name suggests, Introspection offers an almost autobiographical, inward look at Ben-Hur and Harvie S’ collective musical evolution—lyrical and nuanced soloists, astute and mindful accompanists. Add Horner’s timely diligence to the mix, and the album breathes some organic vitality into almost-lost jazz works. But as Ben-Hur and Harvie S provide scintillating back-and-forth, minimalism is the ultimate form of artistry here. Certainly, moments of near-perplexing virtuosity exist—Ben-Hur’s harmonic prowess on super-vibey, Brazilian-style B-sides and a tasty, throwback to his bebop upbringing. From Harvie S’ swinging solo fanfare to Ben-Hur’s lightning-fast, touch-sensitive runs—under Horner’s watchful, understated brushes—the chemistry found on the album is a unique, uncompromising force to behold.
Introspection: Prá Machucar Meu Coração; Serenity; Conception; Introspection; Dexia; Focus; Blood Count; Nobody Else But Me; Repetition; Asiatic Raes. (50:37)
Personnel: Roni Ben-Hur, guitar; Harvie S, bass; Tim Horner, drums.