Tag Archives: Arrive

JazzGram review by Alain Drouot

Originally from Florida, saxophonist/clarinetist Aram Shelton spent a few years in Chicago before leaving for Oakland in 2005. However, he never severed his ties and Arrive is one of several projects he has put together with former colleagues since his departure. Joining him in this venture are Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone, Jason Roebke on bass, and Tim Daisy on drums. Adasiewicz’s instrument provides a unique atmosphere. Although he gets enough room to stretch, it is his role as a colorist that is most striking. He also creates a deceptively relaxed mood that tends to hide a real sense of purpose and freedom. As the main soloist, Shelton, who sticks to the alto sax throughout, alternates between graceful and jagged lines and carefully articulates his ideas, avoiding any ostentatious display. Shelton’s six compositions are constantly moving forward thanks to Roebke’s acute sense of pace and Daisy’s effective drive and swing. They are also steeped in the finest tradition of creative jazz. Finally, There Was… benefits greatly from the rapport the musicians developed during the tour that preceded the recording session.

All About Jazz Italy review by Gigi Sabelli

Arrive – There Was…  (CF 217)
Valutazione: 4.5 stelle
Che la separazione tra nuovo e vecchio nel jazz rischi di far prendere abbagli ce lo insegna a suo modo anche questo bel disco, registrato da un quartetto i cui componenti dovrebbero fornire di per sé sufficienti garanzie all’ascoltatore più accorto e aggiornato.

Shelton è uno dei protagonisti assoluti del jazz chicagoano degli ultimi tempi, Adasiewicz è tra i musicisti più intelligenti dell’ultima generazione, come si capisce dalle sue collaborazioni con Mazurek o dall’accurata intervista che gli ha fatto recentemente Luca Canini per AllAboutJazz; Roebke lo abbiamo ascoltato in Italia con il gruppo di Mike Reed e Daisy suona regolarmente con Ken Vandermark.

There Was…, registrato nell’agosto del 2008 a Chicago (in uno studio in cui si era drammaticamente rotta l’aria condizionata), al termine di un tour statunitense, immortala un gruppo in cui l’attenzione per la forma e la struttura è associata ad un altrettanto valida considerazione per il suono.
In tutto questo si alternano momenti rigorosi e obbligati, swing poderosi in cui la batteria memore del Max Roach anni Sessanta e di Roy Haynes fa da contraltare al vibrafono rilucente e originale, capace di far riverberare lo spazio sonoro o al sassofono colemaniano di Shelton che in ogni assolo dimostra uno spiccato senso della frase.

Le parti scritte e gli sviluppi improvvisativi si muovo tra geometrie ad assetto variabile lungo strade in cui a far da apripista c’è sempre il poderoso contrabbasso di Roebke.

Monsieur Délire revuew by François Couture

ARRIVE / There Was… (CF 217)
Un deuxième (ou je m’abuse?) album pour ce quatuor du saxophoniste Aram Shelton, avec Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Jason Roebke (contrebasse) et Tim Daisy (batterie). Plus constant que le premier. Très jazz, assez puissant, le jeu coulant d’Adasiewicz adoucissant les aspérités du saxo alto. Un disque studio honnête.

A second album (or am I mistaken?) for this quartet led by saxman Aram Shelton, with Kason Adasiewicz (vibes), Jason Roebke (doublebass) and Tim Daisy (drums). More consistent than the first CD. Very jazzy, quite powerful, Adasiewicz’s flowing playing smoothing out the alto sax’s asperities. A honest studio album.

New City Music preview by Dave Cantor

Arrive – There Was (CF 217)
Listening still ranks as one of the most important aspects of performing. Ask Pauline Oliveros, she agrees. Aram Shelton, a onetime local who now resides in the Bay with his alto sax but makes frequent pilgrimages back to Chicago, is well acquainted with the necessity to bleat out incomprehensible melodic progressions, but then rein it in and allow enough room for his cohort to expound related musical ideas. Affiliated with everyone from Weasel Walter, another East Bay transplant, to the Functional Blackouts, Shelton’s dates as a leader aren’t as varied as his other recording concerns, but hint at the ability to augment his tone and style on demand. Working with the Portuguese imprint Clean Feed, Shelton’s brought out “There Was…” with his group Arrive. The band, a quartet including Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Jason Roebke with his bass and sometime-Vandermark associate Tim Daisy on drums, turned in six tunes for its latest release. Strikingly broad for an offering hemmed up in avant-jazz terms, the quartet works in airy tones as much as frenetic improvised passages and even tosses in a few drum solos. “Frosted” finds Daisy being featured for a romp over his toms, somehow avoiding overt African references, exemplifying Shelton and his group’s ability to adroitly assimilate influence without sacrificing the personal. Marshall Allen and John Gilmore, from Sun Ra’s groups, don’t function as the center to Shelton’s sound. It’s lighter, even sidestepping Art Ensemble ties. The band leader’s new(ish) digs out west, though, might serve as a better point of reference—Mills College is out there. But even Anthony Braxton doesn’t hold sway over Shelton’s approach to music. He’s a rare contemporary player capable of adding in some Euro-styled experimentalism with rhythmic ideas, no doubt, gleaned from his work in the Windy City.

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.

The New York City Jazz Record review by Jeff Stockton

Jason Adasiewicz  – Sun Rooms (Delmark)
KLANG – Other Doors  (Allos Documents)
Aram Shelton’s Arrive  – There Was… (Clean Feed)
Giving up the drums to take up the vibraphone is like quitting basketball to try out for the volleyball team. It seems to be a choice that limits one’s options. But this is just what Jason Adasiewicz did, purposely taking up a fringe instrument and mastering it in a fringe musical category, helping restore the vibes to its former glory.

Sun Rooms is the self-titled CD of a trio completed by Chicago luminaries Nate McBride (bass) and Mike Reed (drums). While each instrument has its individual moments, the strength of the music is found in the interplay, Reed zipping brisk rolls off his snare, McBride bowing feverishly or walking his bass with aggressive intent and Adasiewicz striking the vibes to create resonating harmonies. You can hear the physicality in his playing in the way he holds back his mallets until the final second and in the ringing overtones that move through the air after he strikes. The tunes are relatively compact yet tightly composed, the band’s sound harkening back to economical BlueNote classics like Out to Lunch or, better still, Point of Departure. Sun Rooms offers similar disjointed harmonies, unconventional melodies and layered rhythms that together generate a cohesive blend.

The backstory to Klang’s Other Doors tells how clarinetist James Falzone was approached to interpret the music of Benny Goodman for a Chicago jazzfestival. The young musician had his misgivings about reliving elements of the clarinet’s past. It’s hard to tell if Falzone continues to distance himself from Goodman’s legacy but it’s a pity if he does because the contemporary takes on some classic Goodman small group sides are the best thing about Other Doors. Divided equally between new arrangements and new pieces, Falzone and his group of Chicago allstars (Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy, augmented here and there by Josh Berman, Jeb Bishop, Keefe Jackson and Fred Lonberg-Holm), the players are melodic and joyful on the Goodman tunes and relatively abstract and improvisatory on the originals. Simultaneously reverent and progressive, Other Doors is an impressive combination of practiced virtuosity and spontaneous creativity.

Yet another release to spring from the incredibly fertile and cross-pollinating jazz scene of Chicago, Arrive is a band comprised of Klang’s rhythm section supporting alto saxist Aram Shelton. On There Was… the tunes may be Shelton’s, but it’s Adasiewicz as often as not taking the lead. Whether it’s with Daisy’s brushes on “Frosted”, Jason Roebke’s bass on “Golden” or producing the hazy nightclub-of-the-imagination atmospherics of “Lost”, Adasiewicz’ hits his vibes hard and lets the metallic soundwaves reverberate in your ears. The action shot of the band on the inside cover tells the tale of this group’s barely contained fierceness: Daisy locked in, Roebke swinging, Shelton’s horn rising ever so slightly upward and Adasiewicz in a defensive stance, about to pounce on the vibes with both hands.

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

Arrive: There Was… (CF 217)
It is astonishing to consider just how many differing ensembles in which a modern jazz musician might participate. Take, for instance, the players heard in alto saxophonist Aram Shelton’s Arrive. Besides his own band Rolldown, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz can be heard in seven other bands, including those of Rob Mazurek, Mike Reed, and Nicole Mitchell. Likewise, Tim Daisy (Ken Vandermark’s favorite drummer) lists thirteen active bands, and bassist Jason Roebke, a half dozen. For his part, Shelton (who splits his time between Oakland and Chicago) lists another dozen bands, include the West coast groups Cylinder, Ton Trio, and Marches, and, from Chicago, the Fast Citizens, Rolldown, his Quartet, and the band heard here.

Formed in 2001, Arrive builds upon the band Dragons 1976, a piano-less trio Shelton and Daisy created with bassist Jason Ajemian. Where Dragons 1976 mined the message of Ornette Coleman, Arrive plies a post-Coleman world, with Bobby Hutcherson’s Dialogue (Blue Note, 1965) offering a reference point.

The inclusion of Adasiewicz’s vibraphone adds both a second percussionist and a chordal instrument. His literally striking performance elevates Shelton’s compositions, focusing the music on both melody and physicality. The pulse applied by bass and drums can sometimes be ignored, but Adasiewicz’s vibraphone on the title track pushes Roebke and Daisy to the forefront, emphasizing that pulse. As a working band, Arrive maintains a tight rein on the compositions. “Cradle” begins as an odd-timed waltz that evolves into a delicious 4/4 groove; the Same goes for “Frosted,” Shelton introducing this restrained and quiet piece, before giving way to some interplay between Adasiewicz and Daisy. Elsewhere, Roebke’s bass fuels “Lost,” before stepping into a gnarled solo and silence, the band bringing him back into the intricately woven song.

Where this disc shines is not in the soloing but the melodies and orchestrated group interplay. Shelton’s composing, and his sense of space in choosing musicians who play well together is a gift. This combination might be the best coalition of Chicago artists working today.

All About Jazz review by Troy Collins

Arrive – There Was… (CF 217)
A longtime fixture of the fertile Chicago jazz scene, Aram Shelton’s relocation to Oakland, California has not diminished the alto saxophonist’s presence among his peers in the Windy City. Courtesy of a rigorous touring schedule, Shelton maintains memberships in numerous ensembles, including Jason Adasiewicz’s Rolldown, the collective ensemble Fast Citizens, and Arrive, his quartet with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy—three of Chicago’s finest improvisers.

Recorded in 2008 after a two week tour of the East coast, There Was… is the quartet’s third album, following Live at Elastic (Single Speed Music, 2008) and their 2005 self-titled debut on 482 Music. Originally founded in 2001, the group’s practiced rapport is manifest in fluid interchanges and seamless transitions that lend the intricate structures underlying Shelton’s complex writing a casual sense of clarity. Although Shelton’s tuneful post-bop readily evokes the adventurous 1960s-era Blue Note recordings of such luminaries as Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson, Shelton and company transcend stylistic preconceptions with a modernistic spin on the tradition. A judicious use of melodic counterpoint, intervallic themes and shifting time signatures provide these compositions with an expansive dynamic range and bracing vitality unique to their time.

Shelton’s nimble cadences reveal a pliant tone that veers from plangent to strident. His serpentine phrasing enhances the soulful ardor of lyrical motifs while instilling a commanding fluency to his more abstract excursions, which include bristling chromatic trills and vocalized ululations. From supple kaleidoscopic shadings to ringing metallic cascades, Adasiewicz’s versatility has made him omnipresent in the Chicago jazz scene; his harmonic audacity makes him a perfect foil for Shelton’s unfettered explorations. The rhythm section gracefully negotiates fractured rhythms and vacillating tempos with swinging aplomb, while making strong individual statements themselves—such as Roebke’s expansive rumination at the center of “Golden,” or Daisy’s rousing drum-line inspired coda on “Frosted.”

The quartet’s commitment to organic development and narrative detail is exemplified by the episodic “Lost” and the closer, “Golden,” which slowly build from balladic musings to ardent finales. The former tune modulates from pointillist call-and-response to a bracing 6/8 vamp as Roebke and Daisy underscore the billowy sustain of Adasiewicz’s double-mallet attack, providing a locomotive undercurrent for the leader’s architecturally concise solo. Ascending to a fevered pitch, Shelton unleashes a compounding array of coiled variations, driven by Daisy’s rigorous downbeats and Roebke’s elastic ostinato, that culminates in a thrilling climax of rock-like intensity. “Golden” follows a similar arc, trading pneumatic precision for a nebulous maelstrom of expressionistic drama.

Alternating angular bop melodies and lilting swing motifs with languid noir blues impressionism and aleatoric introspection, Arrive navigates a multi-hued panorama of sound. Drawing inspiration from past masters while moving headlong into the future, There Was… offers an adventurous yet accessible variation on the jazz tradition, demonstrating Shelton’s subtly innovative take on historical antecedents.

Free Jazz review by Paul Acquaro

Aram Shelton’s Arrive- There Was… (CF 217)
Aram Shelton’s ‘This Was…’, recorded with his group Arrive in 2008 is a serious affair that is quite a fun and demanding listen.

I was first struck by how cool this group was, cool in the sense of how the vibes, the upright acoustic bass, the commanding sax, and some very hip drumming, casts a spell. At the same time, I was impressed by how hot the band was, in the sense of, well, just tearing it up. Their intensity is impressive, but so is how neatly they color outside the lines. While on the surface the tunes may feel very composed and modern, a deeper listen reveals some fine and fierce free playing.

I think by the time I got to the tune, ‘Lost’, I found myself thoroughly engaged. Jason Adasiewicz’s vibraphone and Jason Roebke’s bass generate a palpable density that is buoyed by Tim Daisy’s drums. On top, Shelton has a serious foundation for spinning fractured and dazzling solos. Adasiewicz shines throughout, using the vibes to set a dark, sometimes mysterious, atmosphere. His solos, like on the laid-back ‘Frosted’ are as tantalizing as Shelton’s, reacting to the rhythm section, always servicing the aesthetic of the song but not pulling any punches.

Shelton’s composing blends sophisticated syncopation and harmonies, and all the songs are distinctive. The suspended and slow building ‘Golden’ comes to mind as a highlight. All four instruments act as part of the melody, building up to a small peak before resolving into some free playing. Soon it becomes a duet between the vibes and bass, their conversation becomes more obscure, but captivating, only to soon be joined by the others and driving to a greater crescendo. Shelton solo is rather intense but always in control of the exuding passion.

The contrasting qualities of this album are what makes it so tantalizing. It’s laid back, but aggressive, cool but passionate. Composed, arranged but free and unpretentious. There is not a dull or unimportant note or rest that is out of place on this edgy piece of modern jazz.

The Jazz Review review by Glenn Astarita

Arrive – There Was… (CF 217)
This quartet provides a many-sided view point, where freedom of expression is laconically aligned with the avant-garde strata.  Stationed in Chicago, the quartet led by alto saxophonist Aram Shelton offers a program consisting of subtle hooks, detours and focused theme-building exercises.  Engineered upon straight forward bop, capacious improvisation, and numerous subplots, the quartet throttles the intensity level throughout.

Shelton and vibist Jason Adasiewicz are strong foils, whether they generate light and perky swing vamps or abide by a flotation-like modus operandi, witnessed on “Cradle.”  Strategically interspersed with unanticipated unison choruses and linear phrasings, the musicians sustain a fresh sound, sparked with bristling flurries and counterpoint maneuvers.

Shelton is a fluid saxophonist who keenly sculpts melody and dissonance.  Therefore, he straddles a fine line between the free realm and post-modernism.  Moreover, the rhythm section shades, complements and assists with revving up the overall game-plan.  For instance, on “Fifteen,” the soloists fuse sparse phrasings into an introspective motif, nicely contrasted by drummer Tim Daisy’s off-kilter responses.  And with the final track “Golden,” the band is in no rush to get anywhere, but raises the pitch during the bridge.

Arrive is a unit that crafts a mark of authenticity but doesn’t slash and burn with maddening intensity.  In effect, the musicians enliven the freer realm with an artsy underpinning.  Therefore, the album is not a platform teeming with innumerable technical gymnastics and wanton soloing spots.  Among other positives, it’s an endeavor created with substance and fluent ideas that synchronize the best of many jazz-induced mechanisms.