Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Lori Bell: Brooklyn Dreaming

4

Lori Bell: Brooklyn Dreaming

By

Sign in to view read count
Lori Bell: Brooklyn Dreaming
No matter where we go, our formative experiences travel with us. That's what Lori Bell appears to say with Brooklyn Dreaming. For her ninth album, this California-based flutist decided to glance eastward, recalling time spent soaking in the sounds of New York City with her musical family in her youth. The result? A love letter that proves that Bell has bi-coastal jazz citizenship, having been baptized in Brooklyn's swing and sizzle while currently belonging to the hot Golden State scene.

Brooklyn Dreaming is clearly Bell's baby, but her band mates deserve equal credit for bringing this music to life. She's joined by a trio of West Coast rhythm aces—Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra-associated pianist Tamir Hendelman, rising star drummer Matt Witek, and bassist Katie Thiroux, a hot topic since self-releasing her debut and being selected as a semi-finalist in the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for vocalists. Together, these three expertly navigate their way through six Bell creations and three covers that all fit the New York-centric theme.

While Brooklyn holds Bell's heart and gets top billing here, only a pair of pieces—the airy, calmly waltzing title track and an angular, swinging ode to enjoying a Nathan's hot dog on Coney Island—reference that borough. Six of the seven other numbers are firmly planted in Manhattan by name. The album starts in the tourist-filled heart of New York City, referencing Times Square not once, but twice. Charles Mingus' famed "Nostalgia in Times Square," opening with some incredibly tasty brushwork from Witek, kicks things off, and Bell's own "Times Squared," a wonderful slice of chilled-out funk ushered in with a rubato preface, follows it. As the album continues, Bell moves all around the city. A perky and spicy look at Thelonious Monk's "52nd Street Theme" and a hip "3 Deuce Blues" both nod to the same stretch of jazz clubs that's no longer with us; an inventive take on "Harlem Nocturne," shifting from a mysterious feel in five to a comfortable swing, looks further uptown; and a Latin-ized "Lower Manhattan" points in the opposite direction.

Bell glides, glows, and runs up and down her flute in seemingly effortless fashion throughout. Her rhythm mates, in turn, keep the grooves swinging and flowing while adding their two cents in all the right places. Brooklyn Dreaming is a tight and classy affair that furthers Bell's fine reputation, shines a spotlight on her talented compatriots, and reminds us all that east and west aren't so far apart after all.

Track Listing

Nostalgia In Times Square; Time Squared; 52nd Street Theme; Streets Of New York; Brooklyn Dreaming; A Dog On Coney; Lower Manhattan; 3 Deuce Blues; Harlem Nocturne.

Personnel

Lori Bell
flute

Lori Bell: C flute, alto flute; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Katie Thiroux: bass; Matt Witek: drums.

Album information

Title: Brooklyn Dreaming | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Elegy for Thelonious
Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble
Echolocation
Mendoza - Hoff - Revels
Maniera
Marco Baldini
Hackney Diamonds (2CD)
Rolling Stones

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.