Inspiration, pianist Lynne Arriale's fourth TCB release (and her seventh overall), features Jay Anderson on bass and Steve Davis on drums. The record lays out an intriguing mix of covers, beginning with West Side Story's famous "America," its spirited melody placed over dense, active bass motion. Ellington and Monk are represented with "It Don't Mean a Thing" and "Bemsha Swing" respectively, each getting a similarly laid-back treatment (the former has a vaguely reggae-ish feel). Arriale also pays tribute to three modern pianists: Keith Jarrett with the poetic, rubato "So Tender"; Chick Corea with the brisk "Tones for Joan's Bones"; and Abdullah Ibrahim, with the hypnotic "Mountain of the Night." A smattering of pop/standard tunes -- Lennon/McCartney's "Blackbird," Bacharach's "A House Is Not a Home," Bricusse/Newley's "Feeling Good," Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You" -- round out the program. Arriale tackles them all with harmonic sophistication and rhythmic drive, aided gracefully by Anderson and, particularly, Steve Davis, who's been on all of her discs thus far.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler