“After the Rush should be rushed out after immediately” – Miami Herald
"Rich in melody and warm in tone amid a sparkling hybrid of contemporary and old school arrangements. Very tasty stuff!!" - Matt Wilkinson "Stereophile Weekly."
"It's considered something special to have a guitar album with a couple of great melodies... to have an album full of them, imbued with the spirit , tone and taste of a master is nothing short of six string bliss." - 'Guitarist, Australia.'
"Aaron Benson will no doubt be splendidly cruising down his own lane in the crowded Freeway of guitar and After the Rush is his ticket to ride" – Mike Stead, Guitarin’
On a picture perfect day this is the type of music l like to hear. Stylistically cruisy, melodically catchy, groovingly groovy and with chops to spare showcasing a guitar that plays svelte lines with just the right amount of solo abandonment and an identifiable touch. I would recommend this C.D to anyone, actually it’s currently 2 C.D’s. The other being an obvious tribute to some supreme soul stars and others. Five Stars xxxxx
Victor Norton – Abstract Logix
What a great concept, Grooves (and) Melody on the same C.D. Who would have thought? This is some happening stuff! Artistopia
Talented Guitarist/Composer Aaron Benson has served up a melodic feast with his C.D After The Rush, a well crafted batch of mostly self-penned tunes that rather than challenge the listener with self indulgence, the songs imbue an ambience which is both luxurious and organic. While not short of keenly executed hot guitar licks and the mandatory radio friendly material it is the feeling of warmth emanating from the C.D player that makes this musical journey so satisfying. Other reviews have this disc referred to as a Smooth Jazzers dream and l can understand why, however, this could be a tad limiting as there is so much more on offer here than slinky grooves and restrained playing. In fact, the spirit of the C.D has a decidedly Urban R’n’B grit complemented with the sheen of quality production. A brief snapshot song by song would be –
Café L’amour - The quiet before the Storm
Slo Notion – Slow and sexy
Uptown Avenue – Funk without the junk
When Heart Are Singing – The melody lingers on
Practice What you Preach – Barry White is now playing guitar in the afterlife
Your Soulful Whisper – l would love to hear this song's melody on saxophone
Havana Moonlight – The dance of the night
The Chase is On – Killer contemporary groove tune
My love is your love – Tropical rendezvous
Indigo Cruise – Very bluesy, but with a smooth groove and a bit of an edge in parts
Way Past Midnight – A soulful jazz mood piece.
My version of this C.D comes with a bonus solo guitar disc with the aptly titled description Soulo for it’s inclusion of a reworked soul songs. A nice addition to a highly commendable album.
Mark Cortese - Jazzreview
Australia may be on the other side of the planet but Aaron Benson’s double C.D “After The Rush is destined for the world stage. The influences are there and sometimes ominous, but never at the expense of overshadowing this wonderful guitarist's own sound. With nods to many, including Lee Ritenour, Carlos Santana, Norman Brown and that well known Benson among others, this artist never loses sight of the inherent value of a cool tune, most of which are his own.
The C.D starts off with ‘Café L’amour’ which is a very alluring melody leading into the main theme of ‘Uptown Avenue’ a light funk tune with a smooth as silk groove. The next track ‘Slo Notion’ can only be described as a slow burning vibe paying homage to Urban/R’n’B stylings. The melody of ‘When Hearts are Singing" is to die for, followed by a very slick take on Barry White's ‘Practice What you Preach’. The rest of the disc follows a variety of moods including the hauntingly beautiful ‘A Soulful Whisper’ and the C.D closer ‘Way Past Midnight’ is pure late night, wine in hand Soulful Jazz.
Disc two included as a bonus contains some of the greatest songs by Stevie Wonder, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Randy Crawford, Donny Hathaway and Benson's own tunes arranged for Solo guitar.
All in all a great effort and a must have for fans of contemporary guitar and Smoothjazz with fire. David Golstein - Ejazz News
This stylish two-disc set by Australian guitarist and composer Aaron Benson has some real high spots. I like the catchy bass riff on Café L’amour/Uptown Avenue. Benson gets a lovely semi-acoustic sound. l also like the upbeat and optimistic When Hearts are Singing with it’s pleasant percussion sounds.
There’s a sexy mood on Your Soulful Whisper. That woody semi-acoustic tone is lovely, l enjoy the drummers light touch and some very tasteful synth work. One of my favourite songs is Havana Moonlight, which has a touch of Santana with that laidback overdriven guitar sound. Santana fans will know what l mean – sexy, dreamy latin loveliness. Like 9 of the 10 songs on disc one, it’s an original Benson composition.
It’s blues all the way on Way Past Midnight, with a lovely piano and organ supporting that sweet guitar melody. Is the bass electric or acoustic – is it even bass at all? Who cares – the sound is great.
Disc two is a bonus platter, cleverly sub-titled Soulo and that’s what you get, a dreamy collection of original compositions and standards played on solo guitar. Stevie Wonders Lately and Randy Crawfords Almaz are two standards that soul and jazz fans will instantly recognize.
All in all, it’s a very relaxing set and l find myself coming back to it often when l’m tired of banging tunes on FM radio.
Chris Mann – Smoothvibes.
"We are so impressed with your excellent double C.D we have immediately added several tracks to our playlist – your style of play fits our format like a glove. –Terence Gaynon, Network Program Director Australian Smooth Jazz Network.
Featured Artist "Jazz Across The World Program"
"My favourite music is from musicians who know how to use their technique with the right balance of flash and restraint. Aaron Benson and his C.D "After the Rush is a shining example of this". Drew Abelard.
"Chillout music at its best" Tony Panteno – Echo Fm.
"l’m talking one very cool C.D here! Treading firmly in the Smooth Groove/Nu Jazz idiom with just enough spice to crossover into Urban territory. The track Havana Moonlight is a knockout top down, breeze thru the hair, summer is here Vibe!! – Clevland Sayle, KHWRCruisetime 96.3
"Sensational groovin’ guitar" – Lawrence Wakefield, All about Jazz.
"The sound of Benson’s guitar is one of elegant excitement"-Musicbreak Magazine.
"An exceptionally melodic guitarist with a clear and articulate guitar tone that also happens to ooze soul" – Australian Music Online.
"After the Rush has the kind of ambience that can be listened to for it’s musical worth or enjoyed for the sensual moods it creates"- Alison Grayson, NowTimes.
"It’s rare that someone comes along and totally blows me away. Aaron Benson’s C.D After the Rush breaks the spell. Beautiful vibrant sounding guitar, songs that are tuneful, the grooves are right on the money, the solos compliment his melodies perfectly and very importantly for me, the C.D hasn’t fallen victim to over-production. Nice and Classy effort –Jay T, Smooth Jazz Forum.
AARON BENSON – After the Rush
If ever there was an imaginative and cool wave of instrumental guitar music sweeping through your city it would have to be the beautifully crafted two-CD set After the Rush by Aaron Benson.
Hailing from Australia, Benson’s musical style is polished and captivating. As humble as the man is about the obvious technical mastery of his instrument, the fluid notes sliding from the fret-board on his new CD virtually caress the ears of the listener.
"It's really a composite of my favourite styles of music," reflects Benson. "Slinky melodic R'n'B grooves, Jazz, Soul, Latin with some bluesy inflections to add a unique feel to the songs. "
While attuned to avoiding effects or gimmicks, the guitar lines are natural, clear and pristine. A real credit to the man for it is rare to hear an instrument without all the accruements and studio wizardry that so many musicians rely on to achieve a sound nowadays. This approach has certainly paid off for the C.D glows with as much fire as anything you’re likely to hear while retaining a spark that lends itself to many hours of repeated listening.
Benson has included a second bonus disc with this release. I asked him about the motivation behind it,
"The bonus solo guitar disc is something people have been asking me to do for years and really is more straight ahead guitar that demonstrates another (more traditional) side of my playing and also it’s an added incentive for people to get some Bonus material without extra cost"
According to Benson the CD’s title After the Rush sums up his latest set of recordings perfectly.
"There's a lot of evidence to support the theory that bombastic music and sounds contribute negatively to people’s stress levels. While we don't want to put anyone to sleep.. it's cool to put on a disc that creates an ambience when we're trying to wind down after work or trying to create some atmosphere at a get-together while having a contemporary sound with some musical substance behind it," he says.
Prolific song-writing and an ear for melody are his obvious strong points, and the regular radio airplay of a number of his tracks such as Havana Moonlight is no surprise. However Benson is mindful of including some popular standards in his repertoire. "Barry White’s Practice What You Preach, which is a song l thought would make a great guitar piece the first time l heard it sits right in with my originals. The rest of the covers are on the bonus disc and it was fun to pick some favourite songs and work them into solo guitar arrangements for those moments when you really just want to sit right back" says Benson.
The sounds on After the Rush are smooth and lively. Aaron Benson’s musical integrity is way up there with the best of them. His love affair with the sound of Jazz-Soul guitar in a contemporary setting brings forth sounds which pour out of the stereo speakers like the sonic equivalent of a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.
Review by Paul Norris. NMP (Norris Media Productions)
Check back Soon - More reviews on their way……
*******Original Press release**********
“After The Rush” the new album from Aaron Benson is as fresh as it is timeless!! A mix of smooth and exciting sounds drawing from Cool Jazz, Soul, R’n’B, Latin and infused with a touch of Uptown Blues –The C.D has instantly been met with much acclaim!
Aaron is a guitarist with that rare ability to transcend genres. Born in Melbourne Australia and having performed in a multitude of settings around the world his music captures the feeling of today even when paying homage to yesterday - his mellifluous melodies, cool grooves and earthy sophistication are all represented here displaying a seductive blend of strong musicianship, versatility and a keen ear for creating exciting and inspiring music…
While heavily influenced by many of the great guitarists, both old and new, the thing that gives Aaron’s music an extra dimension is an equally un-abated love for expressive vocalists. This adds a lyrical quality to his songs and arrangements that captures the ears of anyone with an appreciation of great melodies, soulful tones and consummate playing….
….Whether it be the uplifting funky flavour of “Uptown Avenue” the streetwise groove of “The Chase is on,” or the tantalizing “My Love is your Love” and “When Hearts are Singing” – these songs are beautifully balanced with the sleek and sensual “Slo Notion” and luxurious “Your Soulful Whisper” which is a prelude of more things to come! The singing tone of “Havana Moonlight” certainly delivers a spark that could fire up many different occasions with it’s hypnotic Latin rhythms and simmering guitar lines.
Other highlights of the C.D are the slinky Barry White meets Wes Montgomery homage, “Practice What you Preach” and the atmospheric closing ballad “Way Past Midnight” which conjures up all kinds of images from classic cinematic moments, old smoky jazz clubs, through to romantic endeavors – finesse is the key word here.
Virtually immediately on release the C.D has garnered an enthusiastic response and wide radio airplay…”The Smooth jazz Network” has added four tracks to its playlist along with being presented as a featured artist on the “Jazz across the World” program…with others soon to follow suit.
A chance meeting with Carlos Santana inspired Carlos enough to refer to Aaron as a “very happening Gentleman”. These type of accolades and a continual desire to produce high quality yet accessible material are a credit to his ongoing appeal. Aaron continues to evolve with his fingers on the pulse and as a recording artist with fresh, and no doubt, enduring works.
After the Rush is a wonderful tonic to the hectic pace of today….The perfect soundtrack for a long day carrying through to a great night! CHECK IT OUT!!!