Whether he’s melding hip-hop and jazz with legends like Masta Ace and Donny McCaslin, playing upright bass at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dred Scott Trio, remixing Karsh Kale or WuTang’s Killah Priest, rockin’ on electric bass with Marshall Crenshaw, or producing Peter Bernstein solo jazz guitar, Grammy-nominated producer/(re)mixer/bassist/composer Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is renowned for making records that are pure or genre-bending or both.
Picked seven times as a “Rising Star Producer” in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll, Rubin has well over 100 album credits to his name. Lately, he has been working with a diversity of artists including Queen Esther, Erik Deutsch & Theo Bleckmann, Steve Conte (New York Dolls), Stripmall Ballads, Rachel Eckroth (Rufus Wainwright), Lower Power, Caleb Wheeler Curtis, Drifter feat. Lucy Woodward, Buzzed Armstrong, and Jon Irabagon, as well as labels like Ropeadope, Sunnyside and Imani.
Most recently, Rubin’s attention has focused on Analog Players Society. In 2019 at the Bridge Studio in Brooklyn, Ben and APS founder/producer/engineer Amon Drum convened New York jazz greats tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin (David Bowie Blackstar), pianist Orrin Evans (The Bad Plus), bassist Dezron Douglas (Ravi Coltrane / Black Lion), and drummer Eric McPherson (Fred Hersch Trio). This single three-hour recording session, where few words were spoken and ancient spirits flowed, yielded both the cut-up hip-hop instrumental record Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film and the jazz album TILTED, both released in 2020 on Ropeadope. In June 2021, APS released yet another recording from that session, the hip-hop single “Home in America,” featuring Juice Crew rapper Masta Ace.