Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Lynne Arriale Trio: Arise

Where I live, in Seattle, Lynne Arriale gets a lot of airplay on late-night FM jazz programs. It is easy to hear why. She is a pianist whose velvet touch and whose intimate, nonthreatening lyric muse goes beautifully with 1 a.m. But during a recent trip to Paris, I caught the Lynne Arriale Trio live and the pianist revealed that she is more than a poetess of the postmidnight ballad. In person, she can play with a subtle but insistent urgency that gathers power over the course of an evening.

Arriale played most of the songs on her new album, Arise, at the Duc Des Lombards club. When you hear two sets of live music and leave with a CD covering essentially the same material, what results is a direct comparison of live to recorded music, and the recording always loses. (Keith Jarrett has said that a recording of a concert is “like a fax” of the actual event.) When you have heard the Lynne Arriale Trio play the Guess Who’s “American Woman” live, with Paris outside the door, the CD provides a pale reflection of the experience. The disparity is created only partially by the fact that Arriale’s ensemble, in person, provides intense visual stimuli. She is strikingly attractive, and the movements of her drummer, Steve Davis, are as precisely, theatrically choreographed as those of Baryshnikov. The contrast mostly comes from the fact that, in person, you hear in her music a subtle inner force that eludes capture on record.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published