Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Benny Sharoni, Slant Signature

Benny Sharoni has developed into a fully mature artist with his latest, Slant Signature (Papaya Records). I covered his first a few years ago on this blog (type his name in the search box for that) and now, some five years later we have some genuine movement into a very cohesive stylistic personality. Benny and his tenor are joined with a crack outfit of Jim Rotondi on trumpet, Joe Barbato, piano, Mike Mele, guitar, Todd Baker, acoustic bass, and Steve Langone on the drums.

Rotondi sounds very limber and soulful here, Joe Barbato solos quite well, but all are in fine form in a fired-up afterbop set that includes five Sharoni originals plus some classics by Hubbard, Morgan and Ray Bryant.

Benny's tenor has an assured and notefull originality these days that is a pleasure to hear. He can and does blast-off into intricate lining over changes, with a sound not obviously derivative, burnished and heated at the same time. It's the Sharoni sound.

This one tells us plainly that Benny has arrived. It is not avant but it is not content to repeat, either. It is mainstream with all the fire that the harder style craves to get a move on.

Sharoni is a top tenor contender for the middle ground. It is an album you'll no doubt fall into happily. Thanks, Benny!

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