Arrive is Aram Shelton's second release on 482 Music (the first one was with the group Grey Ghost). This quartet project features the Vandermark 5's drummer, Tim Daisy (who previously worked with Shelton in the trio Dragons 1976), vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz (Harris Eisenstadt's The Soul and Gone), and bassist Jason Roebke (Tigersmilk, Scott Fields Ensemble and Eisenstadt's The Soul and Gone) -- a Chicago jazz quartet by all means. Arrive runs on sharp heads, a flexible rhythm section, and inspired far-reaching exchanges between Shelton's alto sax and Adasiewicz's vibes. The young sax player's writing has a lot of elegance and soul, in a field where it's often too easy to come up with clinical-sounding themes. "All Dressed Up" is propelled by a warm tune that you are likely to come back to often. "The Return" has a well-pinned free jazz flux going on, with mind-boggling work from Roebke and Daisy. The only disappointment is "Johann & Leo"; its vibes intro is a bit too predictable and bland to truly showcase Adasiewicz's skills, and the piece tacked to it fails to convince the listener that the harsh contrast between the ballad-like sax line and the hammered vibes part was really necessary. Shelton's tone is well rounded, with nice boppy inflections and a sharp attack, even in the quieter pieces. The album has been kept short (45 minutes), which, "Johann & Leo" aside, provides a pleasant and focused listening experience.
by François Couture