Gene Bertoncini & Roni Ben-Hur: Smile
Smile (Motema Music MTM-00018)
Composed by Charles Chaplin.
Recorded: Englewood, NJ, April 17-18, 2008
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
It's tough to decide which is more beautiful, the perfect contrast between Gene Bertoncini's nylon-string guitar and Roni Ben-Hur's electric, or the absolutely winning melody written by Charlie Chaplin. Picking a winner seems pointless, as art isn't a competition. Bertoncini and Ben-Hur draw just about every last bit of emotion from the tune as they trade exquisite solo/comping passages. Though the instrumentation is different, the interplay here compares favorably with one of the best jazz duo records of all time: Jim Hall/ Ron Carter's Alone Together. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski