Mar 13, 2020
Lynne Arriale is one of today’s leading practitioners of the art of the piano trio. One of our most melodic performers, she has released 15 albums as a leader, of which 75% are trio recordings. Her latest, Chimes of Freedom, continues the collaboration with bassist Jasper Somson that began on the fine 2018 release Give Us These Days. To round out the group, Ms. Arriale wisely chose drummer E.J. Strickland, who brings not only his great touch, but also a sly sense of where to slide the right fill in at the right time.
The album has topical themes – the tenacity of the human spirit, the plight of immigrants to America, and the ideas of liberty and justice. The track “3 Million Steps” was named when Lynne looked up how many steps it would take to walk from Guatemala to the Texas border of United States. Other Arriale originals are similarly titled- “The Dreamers”, “The Whole Truth”, “Lady Liberty.” Yet the sense of yearning that comes across from the music is never desperate but rather uplifting. Ms. Arriale brought singer K.J. Denhert in to sing two of our great folk-rock lyricists' work – Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom” and Paul Simon’s “American Tune.” The latter gets a terrific reading here, with the wistful narrator leaving us not with a feeling of cynicism, but rather hope for better times. even as she tries to "get some rest".
Podcast 732 is my conversation with Lynne Arriale, as we discuss the making of the album, why she enjoys the trio setting as much as she does, and when she knows a modern pop song is ripe for interpretation. Musical selections from Chimes of Freedom include "Journey", "American Tune", and "3 Million Steps."