Saturday, June 8, 2013

Creative Renewal Grant allowed Becky Archibald to cozy up to jazz at Monteton


Midnight at Monteton, a new recording by pianist Becky Archibald (B&A Records), shows how she was able to spread her wings musically through study and performance in 2008 at the Dordogne International Jazz Summer (DJSS) in Monteton, France. An enabling Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis continues to bear fruit, and a sample of the harvest is offered here.

Becky Archibald benefited from fellowship to study jazz
There is much to enjoy. Except for three solos at the end of the 80-minute disc, she's broadened her musical reach to take in real jazz played with top-drawer veterans of the scene. The kind of New Age style of pastel inspirations by which she made her mark locally is retained in her evident love for melodies and their uncomplicated elaboration.

Her fetching compositions give comfortable space to three top Indianapolis bassists, and they revel in it: Steve Dokken on "Lemonade" and "Deux Chapeaux," Jack Helsley on "Can't Let It Be" and "And Then There Were Two" and Fred Withrow on "Bullet Proof Blues."

The arrangements are tidy and spunky, sometimes, as in "Can't Let It Be," recalling the bop-era small-group swing sound fashioned by Manny Albam, Al Porcino and others.

Jim Farrelly enjoys a slew of nice showcases for his adeptness on a range of reeds;
speaking of which, the proceedings get off to a rollicking start with a cameo bass-clarinet appearance by Mark Ortwein in "Deux Chapeaux."

A CD release party  for Midnight at Monteton is scheduled for June 25 at Indiana Landmarks Center. More info: http://riteofswing2013.eventbrite.com