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Lynne Arriale Trio: Inspiration

C. Michael Bailey By

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Intellectual Music...

Lynne Arriale and her fine trio have become a bright diamond in the TCB catalog. To date she has released four recordings: A Long Road Home (TCB 979520), Melody (TCB 99552), Live At Montreux (20252) and the present Inspiration. I am continually stuck with the sheer cerebral power of Ms. Arriale's playing. She is a smart performer with and expansive and orchestral style that substitute the mundane earthiness encountered in many trio settings with a sophisticated intellect, exuding confidence and competence. The rhythm unit made up of bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Steve Davis represent the tightest section I have heard since first hearing Fred Hersch. Steering the arrangements as well as all else, Ms. Arriale proves to be a master bandleader.

Inspiration represents a number of different influences. Leonard Bernstein's "America" from West Side Story is propulsively driven in head and solos, perfectly preserving Bernstein's intent and excitement. Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing" sounds like a cross between Gene Harris and Matthew Shipp. The Beatles "Blackbird" is a totally digestible cover, as is Burt Bacharach's "A House is Not a Home." Ms. Arriale's Monk is more iconoclastic than the original ("Bemsha Swing") as are her nods to two contemporaries (Keith Jarrett— "So Tender" and Chick Corea— "Tones for Joan's Bones").

The Lynn Arriale Trio is Jazz as high art. If, as I always tout, that the piano trio is the true jazz chamber music, then Arriale is Mozart.

Track Listing: America; It Don't Mean A Thing; Blackbird; A House Is Not A Home; Bemsha Swing; So Tender; Tones For Joan's Bones; Feeling Good; The Nearness Of You; Mountain Of The Night. (Total Time: 58.42).

Personnel: Lynne Arriale: Piano; Jay Anderson: Bass; Steve Davis: Drums.

Title: Inspiration | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: TCB Music

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