Lori Bell

Lori Bell

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Flutist Lori Bell once more joins with Ron Satterfield and Dave Mackay, this time as leader. On the trio's other album, Bell was part of Mackay's trio. Perhaps the next release will be Satterfield's turn as leader. In addition to this trio, four other jazz artists join the session, adding a complete rhythm section and a horn. But Bell is clearly the main attraction in this set. She plays the flute with as much substance as that light instrument will allow, which -- when compared to other horns -- isn't all that much. But one thing the flute can do is be lyrical, flowing, and pretty, and Bell's performance is all that. On such cuts as "Joy Bell," Bell floats and wafts over the various percussive instruments provided by Duncan Moore. There's a lengthy dramatic intro to "Autumn in New York" before the group, led by Bell's flighty flute, segues into a lovely weightless version of this popular classic. A cornucopia of sounds by Satterfield's electronic apparatus helps provide body to the tune, as does Mackay's piano. This is six-plus minutes of musical magic, with some clever improvisation by Bell. Most of the play list is composed by the main players on the CD, with Bell getting the lion's share of the composing credits. And it's all so very elegant and soothing, if not very challenging. But music need not be challenging to be enjoyable, and this album certainly is. While Arturo Velasco shows up with a trombone chorus on "Equinox," tunes such as "Love Dance" and "Joy Bell" will bring a smile to the face and warmth to the heart, if not a tap to the toe. Recommended.

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