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Lynne Arriale: Being Human

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Lynne Arriale: Being Human
It is worth (re)stating what a balm to the soul is good jazz music. Still, on her seventeenth album as a leader, pianist/composer Lynne Arriale expounds upon that verity with bassist Alon Near and drummer Lukasz Zyta, all the while refraining from overstatement.

In so doing, Arriale and company extend the conscious decision to emphasize empathy as captured on her previous album, The Lights Are Always On (Challenge Records, 2022). A rush of rippling piano at the outset of "Passion" is fully in keeping with the song's title, thereby commencing forty-some minutes of non-verbal but nonetheless articulate ruminations on the essential virtues of humanity.

Not surprisingly, two of the eleven original cuts are devoted to the greatest of them all, "Love." In close confluence with her accompanists, Arriale also offers recognition of some qualities perhaps too often overlooked in philosophical conversations: the bandleader, Near and Zyta wordlessly but nonetheless eloquently explicate "Curiosity," "Persistence" and "Gratitude."

In each instance, the interplay of the trio demonstrates something of the otherwise ineffable nature of the respective traits. For instance, the first of the three includes tentative but probing rounds, while the last, in its glowing quietude, becomes all-encompassing before its conclusion. Such nuances of the musicianship come across most clearly in the recordings completed by David Stoller, before mixing and mastering by Andreas K. Meyer.

In that technical context, Lynne Arriale's self-production turns the progression of tracks into a metaphorical evolution of an emotional growth process. Her partnership with this rhythm section may be the most obvious on "Faith:" the bassist and drummer heartily support the pianist in such a way her statements reach full flower through the duo's confident framing and punctuation of her playing.

Likewise, both "Heart" and the fittingly jaunty "Joy" radiate the warmth of well-wrought all-around communication. And speaking of which, Lynne Arialle joins her peers Brad Mehldau, Vijay Iyer and Fred Hersch in composing extensive, enlightening prose based on the inspirations for each of her originals here. The liner notes are juxtaposed not only with biographies of each musician, but also reflections upon their work by the esteemed likes of Richie Beirach.

Such a well-rounded exposition of the music is fully in line with the natural smile on the face of this artist in the front cover portrait. It's an expression that, perhaps as an outgrowth of rendering the final number, grew into something of the delighted grin she displays in a black and white photo on the back cover of the jewel box (and inside the twenty-page booklet)

Lynne Arriale's concluding performance here on the digital piano called the Yamaha Clavinova only underscores the openness to change necessary for our race to evolve and grow, even as we nurture the fundamentals of Being Human.

Track Listing

Passion; Courage; Love; Faith; Curiosity; Soul; Persistence; Heart; Gratitude; Joy; Love (Reprise).

Personnel

Alon Near
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Lynne Arriale: Yamaha Clavinova.

Album information

Title: Being Human | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Challenge Records


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