Thursday, March 31, 2011

Aram Shelton's Arrive - There Was... (Clean Feed, 2011)

Saxophonist Aram Shelton has become a fixture on the modern jazz scene in Chicago, Oakland and many other places around the globe. As a leader or participant in several different groups he has had the chance to explore many of the facets of improvised music. On this album with his group Arrive, with Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Jason Roebke on bass and Tim Daisy on drums, they explore the open ended intersection between free jazz and composed music that was the hallmark of great musicians of the 1960’s like Andrew Hill, Bobby Hutcherson and Eric Dolphy. “Cradle” brings that Blue Note axis to the forefront with the band rotating on a broad musial axis in their choppy melody and fluid improvisation. “Lost” is a special performance, a ballad that is yearning for release through a spacious interlude of mysterious sounding vibes. The pace gradually picks up to a strong climactic finish led by strong saxophone. The spare and open feel also pervades “Fifteen” which has stuttering saxophone and drums setting the stage for a spare, open and spacious performance. “Frosted” slows things even further to a hushed conversation between vibes and brushes before Shelton’s tight saxophone enters, giving the music a light and open feel. The album is concluded with “Golden” where bass and vibes set a subtle groove before the leader picks up the pace with strong saxophone driving the performance to a powerful conclusion. There Was -

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