For those of you like me who are digging some of the interesting ensembles loosely based in Chicago and taking a post-Dolphy trip through composi- tional-improvisational in & out territory, the new CD by Arrive should appeal. Altoist Aram Shelton has a wry sort of pluck to his solo work. He now resides in California where he is a part of the group Cylinder (see review on these pages), but he reunited with some of the Chicago luminaries for There Was (Clean Feed 217). Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has real presence on the contemporary scene. As a sideman with a group such as this there is a Bobby Hutcherson spatial looseness to his comping that does a great deal to open the music up and he soloes with good taste and intelligence. (His solo recordings, also reviewed on these pages, put him in a more chimingly extroverted zone, but that is another story). Bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy are mainstays. They combine the ability to get inside the structure of a composition with a playful freedom that suits the context well.
The compositions are rich and complex, yet bring a modern jazz rootedness that pulls it together in the best tradition of the outside Blue Notes of the classic period.
This is an excellent ensemble outing. Highly recommended.