Led by internationally renowned drummer Russ Miller, The Arrival Trio is a modern jazz group from Los Angeles which currently focuses on music from the contemporary side of jazz. Miller's previous efforts included projects of jazz fusion and a concentration on various drum solo albums which, he has now decided to move away from in favor of a more listenable sound. In this regard, the group unveils the dynamic Chegada 3 ("Arrival" in Portuguese and to the third power meaning the Trio's third release) containing new arrangements of some Brazilian-flavored tunes along with new takes on a couple of jazz standards with a mix of vocals and instrumentals that stays true to the group's desires in delivering a more accessible sound.
Pianist/ lead vocalist Rick Krive and bassist Jerry Watts have spent years performing with Miller as part of other bands, and venues and through this trio, have finally found a common vehicle in which to express themselves in a collaborative format. While the trio does indeed performs as one cohesive force, Miller does not rely on his band mates alone in designing this album. Also contributing to the music here are jazz luminaries Eric Marienthal appearing as guest alto saxophonist on the beaming "Renata Maria," while trumpeter John Daversa, percussionist Luis Conte, tenor saxophonist George Shelby and others join the group on several tracks.
The Lennon/McCartney classic "Fool On The Hill" starts the music rolling with a strong beginning that hides the recognizable melody until Krive begins singing on a rousing rendition that includes the trumpet sounds a stellar piano solo and a strong performance from the drummer. Dori Caymmi's mid tempo "Toucan's Dance" follows with the pianist voicing the lyrics in Portuguese and the band delivering superb back up. The group performs a sensational version of James Taylor's "Only a Dream in Rio" with the aide of the O Choir Brasileiro background vocals.
The soft spot of this disc goes to the gorgeous rendition of the Robert Mellin immortal song "My One and Only Love" with Krive's vocals well accompanied by the soft brush work from Miller, light work on the keys and just an overall warm-toned sound. By contrast, the only original from the group, "Buy-Own?" comes out swinging on Miller's strong stick play/solo and Krive's right-hand quickness on the keys. This one also features some outstanding bass lines from Watts in a piece that is a true highlight of the recording.
Speaking of highlights, one cannot ignore DJavan's "Meu Bem Querer" featuring Krive on the keyboards and Shelby on the tenor saxophone followed by the familiar "Fields of Gold" which also commands attention as a memorable tune while "Skin Tight" and "The Flight" closes out an entertaining session of music. If drummer and leader Russ Miller had hoped to fashion an album that deserves attention from audiences that prefer a contemporary approach, Chegada 3 makes a compelling statement that, The Arrival Trio is here to stay, well done!
Fool On the Hill; Toucan's Dance; Only a Dream in Rio; Renata Maria; My One and Only Love; Buy-Own?; Meu Bem Querer; Fields of Gold; Skin Tight; The Flight.
Russ Miller: drums; Rick Krive: piano, keyboards, vocals; Jerry Watts: bass; Eric Marienthal: alto saxophone (4); John Daversa: trumpet; Luis Conte: percussion; George Shelby: tenor saxophone (7, 9), flute (10); O Choir Brasileiro (Cristina Metayer, Ana Flavia Zuim, Silas Silva Filho): background vocals (3).