Drawing on 30 years experience in trad and modern jazz, DiBonaventura comfortably lends his prowess to jazz standards, modern-jazz gems and Latin classics alongside three trusty colleagues. With his banjo sounding bright and clear yet surprisingly warm, he produces solos that unfold with intractable musical logic, never dragging on too long.
– Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat Magazine
Stephen plays with great restraint and creativity – while giving the listener occasional glimpses of such expertise when appropriate. After years of passionate study and practice, with this project Stephen DiBonaventura has validated the tenor banjo as a serious instrument in the idiom of modern jazz. Definitely not your average banjo!
– Johnny Baier, All Frets
Steve and his musical cohorts have this stuff down cold. These tunes and riff arrangements are not the familiar fodder for the mass groups of banjo players… Such beautiful phrasing, musicianship and above all taste. This CD is now very, very high on my musical banjo list.
– Eddy Davis, The Resonator
Not only does Stephen DiBonaventura show that he’s got the pluck (sorry, just couldn’t resist that one!) to strum to the likes of boppers like “Joy Spring” or modal pieces like “Little Sunflower,” but he can pick and grin on the trickiest of melodies. Along with Steve Giordano/g, Steve Meashey/b and John Mosemannn/perc, he delivers lithe and buoyant readings of Chick Corea’s “Spain” as well as ballads such as “Days of Wine and Roses.” His interplay with the guitar, be it acoustic or plugged in, is a delightfully mix of tones, with “Blue Bossa” skipping along delightfully and “On Green Dolphin Street” chugging along like a HO scale locomotive.
– George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly