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ERAS - The Musical Journey of Reuben Hoch Over the Decades

The Early Years: Reuben Hoch & Repercussions
Reuben was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959 and began playing drums professionally while in high school. His interest in jazz began at age 13 upon listening to an Art Blakey recording. Ironically, by the time he graduated from high school in New York, his jazz group, Repercussion, consisted of several Blakey sidemen; Dave Schnitter, Valerie Ponomaerov and Lonnie Plaxico. Some of the other players who passed through the group were; Manny Boyd, Wallace Roney, Scott Lee, Frank Antico, Richie Vitale amongst others. Reuben continued to work as a leader and sideman in the New York area until he moved to Israel in 1984 where he became a member of the internationally acclaimed Zaviot jazz quartet.

The Israel Years: Zaviot
From 1984 - 1988, Reuben lived in Tel Aviv while studying at the Sackler School of Medicine. During this time he became a prominent member of the Israeli jazz community. He initially joined pianist Michael Greenblatt's band, From The Other Side. In 1986 he cofounded Zaviot,one of Israel's most well known jazz quartets. Along with bandmates, Harold Rubin, Tommy Bellman, and Mark Smulian, Reuben toured and recorded extensively. The group's CD release on Jazzis Records, Unexpected, featured jazz icon, Dave Liebman. Zaviot recorded and toured with Jim Pepper and Christoph Spendel. In 2008, Zaviot recorded a 20 year reunion CD, which will be released in the near future.

The 90's: The RH Factor & West End Avenue
Upon Reuben's return to the US in 1988, he once again established himself on the New York jazz scene. His group, The RH Factor, which featured his original compositions consisted of Dave Liebman, Christoph Spendel, Kevin McNeil and Jeff Andrews. The group's CD Live in New York, was recorded at The Knitting Factory. The group's next release, If I Only Knew, featured Dave Liebman, Christoph Spendel, Leni Stern, Hans Glawischnig and Jeff Andrews. Concurrently, Reuben co-lead the group West End Avenue with pianist, Christoph Spendel. The group recorded several CDs along with band members, Jim Pepper, Ron McClure, Lonnie Plaxico and Lance Bryant.

The New Millenium: The Chassidic Jazz Project & Time
In 1998, Reuben formed The Chassidic Jazz project as a trio with guitarist Tom Lippincott and bassist Ilkin Deniz. The group was then enlarged to a sextet consisting of viola, cello, sax, guitar, bass and drums. In 2001, the group recorded their debut CD live at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. This CD featured guest artists Don Friedman and Bobby Thomas Jr. The group has performed with guest artists Dave Liebman and Ed Schuller. In 2006, Reuben was contracted by The Naim Label in England to release a trio recording with Don Friedman and Ed Schuller. Reuben titled the trio, Time to emphasize the drummers role in music as the time keeper. The debut CD, "Of Recent Time", was dedicated to the compositions of contemporary jazz composers the likes of Metheny, Mehldau, Shorter, Coleman and Kuhn. The CD received accolades throughout the jazz world. A second release is forthcoming.

The Future: Jam
Reuben feels that music must progress and his belief is that the Jam scene holds the future of improvised music. Groups such as MMW, Keller Williams, Bela Fleck, Umphrey's McGee and John Scoffield have appealed to the young generation and have spawned an interest in creative music. Reuben's new group, South Groove, hopes to become part of this new mosaic of improvised music. Look out for something very fresh and exciting.

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