Bar code: 8427328422291
Arthur Kell, born in Winchester, Massachusetts, has performed with a wide cross-section of the New York jazz community and in most major U.S. cities as well as in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy.
Arthur migrated to New York in the 1980's and played in bands led by Thomas Chapin (Spirits Rebellious Quintet), Bobbie Previte, Billy Bang, Mark Feldman, the Microscopic Septet, Fred Ho (Asian-American Arts Ensemble), Marc Ribot, Wayne Horvitz, Pete Malinverni, Joel Forrester and Shelley Hirsch among others. He toured in Europe with guitarist Geoffrey McCabe and drummer Aaron Scott.
This is his new album with Fresh Sound New Talent musicians as Steve Cardenas (guitarist who played with Eddie Harris, Slide Hampton, Paul Motian, Joey Baron, Mark Isham and Norah Jones), Gorka Benitez and Joe Smith.
"Arthur Kells varied background has included being an activist, a jazz bassist and composer, and a globe trotter over twenty years. This new recording seems to draw from these experiences to create some fresh and interesting material. Recorded in Barcelonia with a working quartet including drummer Joe Smith, saxophonist Gorka Benitez, and a stellar guitarist Steve Cardenas; the compositions are filled with melodic arrangements, spontaneous interaction, and vibrant individual performances. Booming bass lines, crisp drumming, and dynamic sax and guitar harmonies (and solos) are in abundance and every tune has elements of swing and discovery. Memorable moments include the free jam Crinkum Crankum, the peacefulness of A Hand for Santiago, and Kells bass solo on the mellow Can Festis."
- Mark F. Turer, All About Jazz
"Bassist/composer Arthur Kell goes the quartet route here with Steve Cardenas (guitar), Joe Smith (drums) and Gorka Benitez (tenor sax/flute). The disc features nine Kell originals, and every track is a winner, with plenty of variety and a laid-back mood. Kell opens up a series of musical vistas that allow Cardenas and Benitez a good deal of space to explore as soloists. Favorite tracks include "Mary Louise," a pensive number Kell wrote in memory of his mother. Also appealing is "Lucy's Back," on which Kell and Smith lay down a stellar groove, and Cardenas and Benitez are way in the pocket with their solos."
Philip Van Vleck, Billboard, Nov. 26, 2005
"Kell is a New York bassist, composer of all the pieces here. The group is an interesting mix, with Steve Cardenas on guitar, Gorka Benitez on tenor sax and flute, and Joe Smith on drums. Benitez is an appealing postmodern saxist, and his flute has some redeeming merit. Cardenas is probably the key, his guitar most active in shaping the tunes. Typical of Fresh Sound's new talent -- with Kell's first album here all four have albums on the label; perhaps slightly better than typical. I'll let this one simmer."
- Tom Hull, www.tomhull.com