Susie Arioli – Spring
Released – October 6, 2015
I’ve gone too long without writing much about Susie Arioli, but then again, she’s gone too long without an album. She shows up here for the first outing since 2012’s “All The Way.” Along the way, she’s lost longtime collaborator Jordan Officer on guitar, but picks up a horn section, arrangements, vibes and piano from Don Thompson, direction from Grammy winner (with Etta James)John Snyder, and four originals.
The opening track is one of those originals – “Loverboy,” a tune I was sure I’d heard before, always the sign of work with the potential to become a classic. She readily concedes that the original tunes center on that “man-woman love thing,” telling one interviewer, “You write what you know.”
The other originals are “Can’t Say No,” along with “Someone Else,” and the title track, “Spring.”
My other favorites are 1929’s “Mean To Me,” and Johnny Mercer’s “Travelin’ Light.”
The change of scenery serves Ms. Arioli well – her playful alto is in the sweet spot here, with gently swingy material, evoking music from some less complicated earlier time. The backing from a much-larger than usual (for Ms. Arioli) bunch of Montreal’s best is long overdue for this three-time Juno nominated songstress, overlooked for too long by all of us south of the border.
That band features Terry Clarke on drums, Neil Swainson on bass, Reg Schwager on guitar, and horns from Phil Dwyer (tenor sax), Andy Ballantyne (alto sax), Shirantha Beddage (baritone sax), Kelsey Grant on trombone, and Kevin Turcotte on trumpet.
Some of the best masterpieces come in small and quiet frames.
Highest recommendation for this one.
Highlighted tracks will be added to the playlist at 62ndStreet.com radio.