Anyone who can keep a jazz trio intact for ten years, as pianist Lynne Arriale has done, deserves a medal for doing nothing more than that. But Arriale does more. For one thing, she plays flawlessly, as one would expect from someone who has caressed the keyboard as long as she has; for another, she composes and arranges; and last but not least, she charts the course that the trio will follow.
On Come Together, the path Arriale has chosen is one of freshness and originality, canvassing half a dozen of her own compositions, a pair of traditional themes and John Lennon/Paul McCartney's shuffling title selection. Arriale, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Steve Davis work seamlessly togetherno surprise there eitherand if there is any complaint to be made, and a small one at that, it would be with the choice of material. Arriale's compositions are essentially admirable, but any resemblance between them and better-known jazz or popular standards is negligible. The time-honored motifs "Red Is the Rose" (a.k.a. "Loch Lomond") and "Iko, Iko," with its charismatic New Orleans ambiance, are intrinsically more interesting than their counterparts.
But regardless of what she is playing, Arriale pours her heart and soul into the enterprise, a posture that is arguably more important than the basic structure of the song itself, and one with which no reasonable onlooker could find fault. Arriale's technique is beyond reproach, and she uses it to enhance the natural warmth and intelligence of her approach to music in general and jazz in particular. One can't ask for more than that.
Even though the music is at times less than mesmerizing, Arriale's accomplished trio clears that hurdle and celebrates its tenth anniversary in style, making the arduous seem effortless while emphasizing the best qualities in every number. They comprise a formidable team, which one hopes may endure beyond a silver or even a golden anniversary.
Track Listing: Come Together; Home; Braziliana; Red Is the Rose; Sunburst; Flamenco; Iko, Iko; Sea and Sand; Twilight (53:27).
Personnel: Lynne Arriale, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; Steve Davis, drums.
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.