Saturday, July 8, 2017

CANADA; Aug. 12: Saxophonist Benny Sharoni in Montreal


In Concert at Upstairs Jazz in Montreal on Saturday, August 12

“…an exhilarating groove… the rugged contours of Joe Henderson blended with significant doses of John Coltrane’s urgent passion, George Coleman’s manly fluency and techy tinges of Steve Grossman – yet Sharoni still sounds like himself… he’ll let out an r & b-style honked bell note amidst nimble lines, and wax free in climax to an otherwise rail-running foray.  And he’s also a lovely balladeer...” –– Michael Jackson, DownBeat

 “Benny Sharoni can energize even the largest, most lackluster venue with his big-toned sound and ebullient phrasing, packed with intense emotion and spirituality, a vibrant hybrid of the hip and the holy.”
– Owen McNally, Hartford Courant

Benny Sharonia take-charge tenor saxophonist with a powerful tone reminiscent of Sonny Rollins – performs from 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 12 at Upstairs Jazz, 1254 Mackay, Montreal. He’s joined by his quartet featuring pianist Jeff Johnston, bassist Adrian Vedady, and drummer Steve Langone. Tickets at 8:30 p.m. $15, 10:15 p.m. $10, 11:30 p.m. free. For information call 514-931-6808 or visit  

A mainstay on the international jazz scene, Sharoni is a straight-ahead player who fuses together the classic bop influences of Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Steve Grossman, among others, flavored with Latin rhythms.  In addition to performing worldwide with his own band, Sharoni has appeared with Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez, Kenny Garrett, and Larry Coryell. The consistent hallmark of Sharoni’s playing is the deep warmth and beauty of his tone and his lyrical phrasing.

Sharoni has released two CDs as a leader and is currently putting the finishing touches on a new recording featuring saxophonist George Garzone. Eternal Elixir, Sharoni’s debut CD, “mixes the vitality of a spiritual journey with the intelligence of an academic lesson, to come up with an intoxicating cocktail of brains and brawn,” according to Jordan Richardson in All About Jazz. Sharoni’s second album Slant Signature (Papaya Records, 2015) – featuring pianist Joe Barbato, bassist Todd Baker, and drummer Steve Langone, plus special guests trumpeter Jim Rotondi and guitarist Mike Mele – unites a deep respect for the jazz masters of the past with a keen imagination all his own.

Sharoni has earned wide critical acclaim for both his recordings and dynamic live performances:

“There isn’t a stale lick on this concise, utterly satisfying disc, which includes five well-turned originals as well as covers… The Israeli-born Sharoni (living in the Boston area since coming to Berklee in 1986) and his band crackle with spontaneity on every tune... Sharoni has an appealingly gruff, throaty sound, which he combines with a lyrical attack that gives a vocal quality to his lines, especially on more relaxed grooves…The tunes are as varied as the solo sequences: blues, a samba, a bossa, an irresistible boogaloo. Play it again!” – Jon Garelick, The Boston Globe

Slant Signature was voted “One of the Top 5 Albums of 2015” – The Ear (UK)

 Another absolute dream of an album from across the pond…Sharoni has a Rollins' sound, albeit not quite as abrasive, that enables him to wander back and forward in time. It's bebop for today and it swings…Listening to the originals, and they really are originals, makes me wonder why they aren't playing festivals and clubs all over the world! “ — Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here

 “…a major voice in the making.” – Steven A. Cerra, Jazz Profiles

 “This is the real thing if you like bebop.... This young man can write.  The program flows nicely from tune to tune and the recording is over all too soon.” – Herb Young, IAJRC Journal

 “What one notices on initial listening is the sense of joy that exudes from this music…Slant Signature has a boatload of soul.” — Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“Let’s get one thing straight from the start, this album is fabulous… It’s a bebop tour de force of the highest caliber. It doesn’t just be and bop, it shuffles, it goes Caribbean and does some of the most inspired and tightest jazz things I have heard in many years…. The band plays the finest bebop one is likely to hear today. They play with confidence, accuracy, sensitivity, speed and a rhythmic groove that you rarely hear…Very highly recommended. Even though it is only March, I have put this album at or near the very top of my best of 2015 shortlist. Buy it.” – Reuben Klein, The Ear

 “As a saxophonist he certainly has the skill and flair to potentially follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest – the aforementioned Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano being just two that spring to mind.” – Mike Gates, UK Vibe

A big-toned, hard-bopping saxophonist…” – Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen 

“… a solid and very enjoyable listen.” – Bob Rusch, Cadence
 An excellent showcase for his writing and playing, the CD rings with increased authority, additional creative breadth and depth and a re-affirmation of Sharoni’s basic credo to make beautiful music.”  – Owen McNally, WNPR
“A muscular player that knows all the right notes and where to put then, this set of mostly originals would have been a career defining moment at earlier stages of the economy, the record business and music appreciation. Engaging and swinging throughout, Sharoni is a daddio to the max and not for moldy figs. Killer stuff.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record 

“If you like your jazz straight up with no filter, tenor saxist Benny Sharoni is your guy. He leads a no frills bop team with Jim Rotondi/tp, Joe Barbato/p, Mike Mele/g, Todd Baker/b and Steve Langone/dr through exciting and fresh material.” – George Harris, Jazz Weekly

Benny Sharoni delivers a beauty in Slant Signature (Papaya Records, 2015). It’s a set that simultaneously showcases his mastery of the tenor saxophone and the elegant side of jazz.” – Woodrow Wilkins, The Jazz Writer