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Lynne Arriale

Lynne Arriale

“I’m looking at the long haul,” says pianist Lynne Arriale, “hopefully playing until I’m a hundred years old.” Speaking with the same focussed intensity that’s a hallmark of her playing, Arriale’s relaxing after completing five nights at London’s Pizza Express, for many the best jazz spot in town. Citing the congenial surroundings and the inch-perfect acoustics that contributed to the obvious musical high her trio enjoyed during the week, she observes: “There is nothing more powerful than group chemistry in jazz. People know when the connections are made and when they are not. You can put a configuration of musicians that haven’t played together and magic can happen, but there’s a much better chance of magic happening with people who really know each other. There’s a real comfortable yet inspired feeling of unity of purpose and not having to walk on eggshells!”

Arriale’s trio has been together since bassist Jay Anderson joined long-serving drummer Steve Davis in the lineup almost two years ago. “Jay just fitted into what we do perfectly,” says Arriale. “This is a real working group and I want to see an evolution through many, many recordings. That is my goal.” In town to launch Live at Montreux (TCB), recorded live on the main stage of the Miles Davis Hall at the 1999 Montreux Jazz Festival, it’s the first album to document this dynamic trio that’s fast developing a powerful collective identity. “Naturally it was wonderful playing Montreux,” says Arriale, “but in fact it was a great challenge to do a live album when all you’re playing is one set. It’s not like three days at the Vanguard and you pick the best takes, but something happened because you can feel the interaction and energy between us and the audience.”

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