A marvelous yet under-recognized pianist from the Bill Evans-Keith Jarrett-Richie Bierach school of introspective lyricism, Arriale unites with bassist Scott Colley and longtime associate Steve Davis for this highly interactive trio session.
The trio's collective daring can be heard on a stunning rendition of the standard "Beautiful Love," which opens with a rubato statement before gradually heading into the swinging theme. Davis plays loose with the time feel, a la Paul Motian, before finally settling on an insistent ride cymbal pulse, allowing the band to take off. Arriale solos assuredly within the melody and Colley, who grounds the trio with strong walking lines, follows with a singing solo of his own. Davis enters the conversation with some melodic statements on the kit. They close on a gentle note with more supple interplay, making a perfect arc from the tune's expressive intro.
The gorgeous Jimmy Van Husen ballad "But Beautiful" is taken at a snail's pace and underscored by Davis' dramatic use of silence, which lends a powerful kind of resonance to his coloristic approach to cymbals. Arriale's playing is particularly rhapsodic in this kind of spacious atmosphere, as she again demonstrates in a poignant take on the traditional children's song "Hush-A-Bye."
The pianist shows a strong Celtic influence on her original "Dance," then dips into a bluesy, relaxed feel on a brilliantly crafted rendition of Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So." Colley again provides a solid foundation with his steady walking lines, allowing pianist and drummer to experiment boldly with time displacement and reharmonization.
Arriale affects an ethereal quality on a tender rendition of "Touch Her Soft Lips And Part" by British classical composer William Walton. And she goes out on an exhilarating note with the Celtic-influenced pedal point number, "The Highlands," which mutates into a burning blues before returning to the surging theme.
With this fifth trio outing, the abundantly talented Arriale should take her rightful place alongside Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap, Jacky Terrasson and other young pianists as one of the vital new voices on the jazz scene.