Chicago Reader review by Peter Margasak

Arrive – There Was… (CF 217)
Reedist Aram Shelton founded his quartet Arrive in Chicago, and though he moved to the Bay Area in 2005—the rest of the band still lives here—the group has only gotten better throughout this period of forced long-distance collaboration. Arrive’s recent second album, There Was . . . (Clean Feed), sounds more assured, focused, and unified than their 2005 self-titled debut. Granted, the group has been playing most of the album’s six tunes on and off for several years, and they cut the record right after completing a U.S. tour—but Shelton has also grown as a composer. The rhythms are less jagged and more fluid, the melodies are more elegant, and in the hands of Shelton (on alto sax) and his front-line partner here, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, the arrangements sound more thoughtful and rich. Shelton’s playing is intense but not overloud, and I hear a shift from the more buoyant sound of Ornette Coleman toward the tightly coiled style of Eric Dolphy (sans his trademark intervallic leaps). The pairing of an astringent alto with vibraphone inevitably evokes late-60s Blue Note sessions with Bobby Hutcherson, who worked with Dolphy and with brilliant altoist Jackie McLean. But Shelton sounds more like himself than ever, and with empathetic support from the agile rhythm section—bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy—so does Arrive.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/aram-shelton-keefe-jackson-and-anton-hatwich-arrive/Event?oid=4071016

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