The women of jazz piano 


Chuck Workman
Subhead Chuck Workman Lynne Arriale Trio plays the Jazz Kitchen Saturday, April 29. Shows at 8 and 10 p.m. This Saturday, April 29, in a rare occurrence, Indy’s two top jazz clubs will feature exceptional women jazz pianists: Lynne Arriale and Amy Stephens. Their styles differ but they both share a common passion for their art. Lynne Arriale’s Trio at the Jazz Kitchen Lynne Arriale, who has been described by critics as “a poet of the piano,” is all of that and more. Lynne Arriale’s Trio with Steve Davis, drums, and Thomson Kneeland, bass, returns to the Jazz Kitchen Saturday, April 29 for two shows at 8 and 10 p.m. (admission is $20). Arriale has moved from Brown County to her new home in Tampa, Fla. We talked with her there by telephone. NUVO: Has [newest member] bassist Thomson Kneeland altered the musical concept? Arriale: I think that initially when someone comes into the group they are bringing their own voice, but they also are being very aware of a connection that has been in existence for some years. He is doing a beautiful job of bringing his own personality to the group and being very aware of the interaction that goes on between the drums and the piano. NUVO: From your perspective of extensive touring, is jazz progressing as an art with all of the social and technological changes? Arriale: I think it is continuing to grow. People are stretching and expanding their range and expanding their influences they bring into jazz. Jazz is the ultimate melting pot, world music and folk music have influenced jazz. I think it continues to grow and develop. NUVO: Why have you never performed in a larger musical setting than the trio? Arriale:: I have got my hands full writing and touring as a trio, It’s just an excellent format for me to work in. I think the trio has developed a particular sound and we want to expand it out and go in more directions. This is complete. This is an orchestra. Amy Stephens Quartet plays the Chatterbox Saturday, April 29 from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Amy Stephens Quartet reunites at the Chatterbox Former Indy jazz pianist/composer Amy Stephens may live in Seattle, but she makes no bones about her musical heart still being here. Stephens will return to the Chatterbox Saturday, April 29 with her favorite Indy players Tom Clark, sax, Jack Helsley, bass, and Kenny Phelps, drums. This is the group that recorded her latest CD, My Many Moods, that is being well-received and rated nationally. Stephens is modest but passionate about her efforts in this phone interview with her from her Seattle home. NUVO: What is your musical source, where do you draw from? Stephens: You are always influenced by the people you listen to. I really love to listen to Keith Jarrett and Kenny Garrett. I also like Herbie Hancock and just the masters. It’s fun for me to try to transcribe a little bit of what they are doing. I am completely indebted to those that have gone before and created incredible music. NUVO: Being a pianist/composer/arranger, which one of them is most satisfying for you? Stephens: I think the most satisfying thing of all is having written something and then taking it to Kenny, Jack and Tom and then hearing what they are going to do with it. Those are probably the most exciting moments for me. Amy Stephens at the Chatterbox is always an exciting jazz happening. The Stephens Quartet plays 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Jazz data The Hampton Sisters will close out Jazz Appreciation Month at the Artsgarden Thursday, April 27 in a free concert at 12:15 p.m. The following evening, April 28, the legendary Hampton Sisters will be awarded NUVO Newsweekly’s 2006 Cultural Vision Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at the Stutz Building.

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