Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Dave Sumner
Following up on her strong quartet album Convergence (Motema, 2011), pianist Lynne Arriale returns with a solo recording - a risky venture for any artist. In an ensemble setting, a musician has collaborators with whom to work and exchange ideas before the record button is punched, and more importantly, while the session is on the move. In ensemble play, a musician's unformed ideas or sound can be made whole by the other musicians in the ensemble; this is a big reason why group improvisation is such a glorious thing in jazz, that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Everyone brings something to the moment and it all fits together. However, in a solo project, the musician is completely alone, his/her artistry naked. There is no one to talk to but the listeners themselves. Solo albums are revealing moments, and it is because of that that, when they succeed, they elicit such an emotionally profound reaction. Which brings us to Arriale's Solo.
The opening notes of Solo are symbolic in the ways that count most. "La Noche" begins with discordant notes in descent, a sense of dramatically falling down a flight of stairs. Arriale, however, never loses her balance, never hits ground. Instead, she exudes a grace and control that epitomizes her sound throughout. Can one even fall if they breathe elegance with each step and note? Is it falling or simply flight? Arriale gives no insight into these questions, but provides the thrilling sensation of both. ... read more...
Personnel: Lynne Arriale (piano).
Audio Mixer: Duke Marcos.
Recording information: THe HCC Ybor Performing Arts Center (10/02/2011).
Photographer: Joseph Boggess.
Since arriving on the jazz scene in the 1990s, pianist Lynne Arriale demonstrated growth as an interpreter and composer. This solo outing will likely become one of the landmark recordings of her career. Starting with her dramatic modal composition "La Noche," which draws the listener in quickly with it infectious theme, Arriale immediately follows it with her relaxing, pastoral ballad "The Dove." Her gorgeous "Arise" has a meditative air. The pianist's quirky, midtempo blues "Yada, Yada, Yada" is full of delightful twists, with its staccato chords and playful nature. She tackles two songs by Thelonious Monk, including an introspective rendition of "Evidence" with a sublime, understated conclusion. Her amusing, choppy take of "Bye-Ya" has a sassy flavor that catches the playfulness of its composer, something often overlooked by interpreters. Her lyricism is at its peak in her spacious treatment of the show tune "Wouldn't It Be Loverly." The old warhorse "What Is This Thing Called Love" is a mandatory part of every jazz musician's repertoire, yet Arriale still finds a fresh path in her driving post-bop setting of this standard. She has much to be proud of with Solo. ~ Ken Dryden