Ben is standing taller than the rest of the crowd. That is because of his physic, you will always notice him above the crowd.
Now, the same starts to apply to his musicianship. I'd say we started to notice him back in '94, when he recorded with Myriam Alter. Then, he founded, about the same time, his quartet with which he plays ever since.
He made a mark, again, when recording "Coast to Coast" with Paolo Radoni, last year. His contribution, in both recordings, made lot of justice to very good music.
Ben always has something to say, be it as a guest during an interview or through his horn. He is an intelligent guy who does lot of thinking, has great sensibility and good sense of what is beautiful, warm and lyric. It translates into his music, which bears the same characteristics.
This is his second album as leader, with the same formation, and the common denominator is that it has that particular formula that sooths you when you are dawn and stimulates you when you are up and rearing to go.
Ben is also the guy who likes things to linger around a little longer, that's is the symbol behind the title of the album, like he wants his group to last and keep playing together. Yes, Ben, by all means ! The modern jazz Quartet lasted for over 40 years without losing its freshness.
Although possessing excellent technical capabilities, he shies away from 'power' demonstrations and concentrates on the music part. In this album, his pianist does to his music what he did to others as sideman; lots of good. Eric is an outstanding pianist, and musician, at any given moment and on occasion he rises to new heights. Some such moments can be found in this album.
A solid group that interacts smoothly, music that although is daring also remains lyric and music rather than a search into new sounds. One can't help but notice the quantum leap Ben did since his last album. This is among the first Belgian productions of 2000. It is a delight and a superb opener. Let the season bring more of this.