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Lynne Arriale at Dazzle Jazz in Denver

March 16, 2012

Last night I heard pianist Lynne Arriale, with Omer Avital on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums. I caught the second set at Dazzle. Met Thomas Cunniffe who runs the website. He had sat through the first set and noted that Avital had brought an oud and played it on one tune. We didn’t get to hear it in the second set. Tom said that Omer tunes it with two strings to a pitch, it ends up a bit like a Dobro. Maybe I’ll hear it tonight?

Said Hi to Lynne who will appear in our May issue of Recording, on account of her CD “Solo” that was recorded during a live gig in Florida—in the interview you'll hear in great detail from the recording engineer Gary Baldassari and from the mixing engineer Duke Markos. 

For last night’s second set the trio started with a tune she simply announced as being by Sting (if she mentioned the title, I didn't catch it), and gave it a workout that would have left Mr. Gordon Summer speechless. They followed it with her own Carry On (from her CD “Nuance”), Here Comes The Sun (Lennon/McCartney, from Lynne’s CD “Convergence”), and her own Yada Yada Yada (on “Solo” and on “Nuance”).

Avital and Pinciotti stepped off the stage and Lynne played her stunningly gorgeous The Dove (on “Solo”), a simple folksy tune that could have been a plantation hymn, or a slowed-down Cakewalk, with a timeless beauty enhanced by Lynne’s use of fourths and seconds over a fluid lilting left-hand figure. Enchanting! You could have heard a pin drop, she had the audience spellbound! 

Then she chose to break the spell, still on her own, with a superb rendition of Monk’s Bye-Ya (on Solo). She really “gets” Monk, with the left hand as much as the right. Thelonius was “in the house” and smiling, as the kids would say.

Back as a trio they performed the most haunting version I recall ever hearing of the Hoagy Carmichael/Ned Washington chestnut The Nearness Of You (on “Inspiration”). Full of poetry, space, inventiveness—gorgeous!

Her own La Noche (“Nuance”and “Solo”) closed the set with high energy.

Avital and Pinciotti are admirably in sync with Lynne's sense of dynamics, taking the music from a whisper to a roar, mixing rhythmic feels, and picking up on subtle hints.

The trio performs two more sets tonight.  Guess where I’ll be?

Check out where you can hear numerous excerpts from her CDs. 

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