Monday, March 05, 2012

Lynne Arriale's Convergence Is Strong Modern Jazz

Convergence (Motéma Music), issued in 2011, is the 12th album as a leader by the pianist-composer Lynne Arriale. While many of her recordings are in the trio vein, this release, like its predecessor Nuance, has her explore the quartet format (although several selections are with just a trio). Her band is excellent, anchored by bassist Omer Avital and drummer Anthony Pinciotti with Bill McHenry on tenor sax. Six of the eleven recordings are Arriale compositions, while the five other songs come from such disparate sources as Sting, Deborah Harry and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.

There is strong music here from the scorching opening Elements, a dynamic original with Arriale displaying a dynamic sense with the terrific rhythm section and tough tenor sax. At the same time, she does a lovely rendition of The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun, exhibiting her melodicism. Another reworking of a rock classic is her rearrangement of Deborah Harry’s Call Me, slowing down the Blondie recording while McHenry is sparkling here. Bassist Avital is featured on Avital’s flamenco inspired Dance of the Rain, while the Stones’ Paint It Black, is also imaginatively reworked by Arriale and this stellar band.

In her liner notes, Arriale notes the multiple sources of musical influence and inspiration that include jazz, pop, world music and ‘Americana,’ and she observes that “[i]t was such a joy to experience the ‘convergence’ of all the people and sounds that made up this recording.” This joy can be heard in the music heard on this wonderful recording.

My review copy was provided by a publicist. here is a video of the Lynne Arriale Trio performing Flamenco.

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