from the June 2007 issue
BEN ARONOV/JAY LEONHART
The sound of this newly released album, made in 1982, is more real and
more musical than most digital recordings made today. The legendary
engineer Roger Rhodes recorded it in an equally fabled room, RCA Studio
A in New York. He used an analog tape deck and three vintage
microphones—two on Ben Aronov’s Steinway and one on Jay Leonhart’s bass.
Both Aronov and Leonhart have been active in the diverse New York
music scene for many years, but only Leonhart is well known in jazz
circles. Aronov had a long run on Broadway with the musical Cats and now
lives in the south of France.
Roger Rhodes’ decision to release Alone Together is justified,
because this session evokes a warm, suave, softly glowing atmosphere
from the opening title track and sustains it.
The duo format provides generous space for Leonhart’s bass. He is a
storyteller, his fluid narratives always carried forward by the gentle
snap of his swing. Aronov’s primary mode is romanticism, lush yet firm,
on pieces like “A Child Is Born” and “My One and Only Love.” But he also
is up to challenging material like Lennie Tristano’s angular “April.”
All those who missed Ben Aronov can, thanks to Roger Rhodes, discover
him here—better 25 years late than never.
©1999-2007 JazzTimes, Inc. All rights reserved.
JazzScene, May 2007
PlatterChatter by George Fendel