Melody is an appropriate title for Lynne Arriale's fifth album as a leader, for the acoustic pianist has made a point of playing and composing honest to God melodies instead of simply providing lines. It's also an intriguing title coming from a post-bopper -- after all, many post-boppers and hard boppers have paid a lot more attention to complex chord changes than to melody. One of Betty Carter's albums, in fact, was titled It's Not About the Melody. So you can say that the title Melody is a statement of purpose for Arriale, who is joined by drummer Steve Davis (not to be confused with either the bassist who played in the John Coltrane Quartet in 1960 or the trombonist who joined Chick Corea's Origin in the late '90s) and bassist Scott Colley on this appealing release. To be sure, melody is a high priority on interpretations of "Beautiful Love" and "It Ain't Necessarily So" as well as Arriale originals like the impressionistic "The Forgotten Ones" and the Celtic-influenced "Dance." But Arriale certainly isn't one to shy away from complex chord changes -- in fact, you could say that the emotional and the cerebral are equally important on this welcome addition to Arriale's catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson