Lori Bell
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Lori Bell


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The best kept secret in music



Jazz fans may associate Lori Bell best for her work with jazz trio, Interplay. Now, Bell has branched out on her own, producing the self-titled nine-track album.
The central theme behind Bell's album is one of Brazilian flavor, in which she enlists the help of Ron Satterfield and Dave Mackay. Each track is uplifting, vibrant and poetic.

Bell communicates her love of music to listeners in tracks such as "Cartagena" and "Equinox." "Lori Bell" is notable and embodies the fundamental appeal of her music. - Elaine Washington

"Cadence Review"

The flute takes on warm characteristics in the hands of Bell. . . . She makes the music happen with her wide range of improvising skills and melodious tonality. The sensation of soft evening breezes blowing on a tropical shore permeates the set, but the music is anything but serene. Bell makes definitive solo statements on each of the tunes on a program concentrating on Latin rhythms. With the percussive beat of Moore setting the pulse rate and the dancing rhythms of guitarist Satterfield incorporating the beat of the samba and other South American styles, the music becomes a lively affair. Bell takes off on each song with ringing improvised passages, and her band follows suit with gracefully flowing but deftly constructed accompaniment. She exhibits no brittleness, but instead rounds off all the edges on this genial recording.

Pianist Mackay plays acoustic piano, and he is a fine counterbalance to the soloing of Bell. Satterfield also plays keyboards/synthesizer on selected tunes. While the music remains delightfully fresh, the electric segments do not have the same dynamic appeal as the acoustic and lean slightly toward the commercial side. Bell, however, overcomes this by playing with the same lyrical intensity to preclude the music from becoming diluted. Trombonist Velasco also keeps the sensation on the right track with his harmonious playing opposite Bell on a couple of tunes. He has a brash, open sound that contrasts with the lyricism streaming from Bell's flute. Bell has taken the beat of South America and forged it with her fluid playing style. The outcome is a very agreeable performance filled with the spontaneity of Bell's tasteful playing.
- Frank Rubilino

"All Music Guide"

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.

- Dave Nathan


Take Me to Brazil - Discovery DSCD-952
Interplay - Webster's Last Word WLW3244
LORI BELL - Beezwax BW6676A


Feeling a bit camera shy


Brooklyn native Lori Bell is a flutist and composer of admirable depth and broad musical sympathies. A resident of San Diego, she has contributed to the development of high standards of jazz performance and has received critical acclaim for her artistry, both live and in the studio.

Her recording debut on “Love Will Win” with pianist/vocalist Dave Mackay and bassist Andy Simpkins, earned warm praise and four and a half stars (out of five) from the esteemed critic Leonard Feather, as well as a selection on the Grammy list for best New Artist in 1983. A second disc, “Take Me To Brazil”, showed a natural fluency in the Lain idiom and her ability to maintain a high level of inspiration. This album featured the first of several fine compositions and was enthusiastically given four stars by the Los Angeles Times in 1989.

Over the past 15 years, Ms. Bell’s many performances in venues such as the Wadsworth Theater, Elario’s and the Jazz Bakery established her reputation among musicians and audiences alike as a remarkably vital interpreter. Her outstanding contributions with the ensemble Straight Ahead, during the 1997 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, broadened that reputation and were noted in Jazziz magazine for their fire and commitment. She continues to deepen her understanding of the rich, varied language of jazz even as she develops her eloquent gifts of communication.

In 1998, this artistic maturity was delightfully demonstrated in her stellar work with Dave Mackay and guitarist/vocalist Ron Satterfield in the trio Interplay. Their self-titled first album was selected on the 1999 Grammy ballot in four categories, including Best Jazz Solo by Ms. Bell on Pat Metheny’s, It’s Just Talk”. The disc, which most recently earned four stars from Scott Yanow in Strictly Jazz magazine, also features her composition “Playing In The Snow”, a waltz that skillfully combines an uncommon musicality with a fresh, intrinsic charm.

It is this quality of high craftsmanship, inspired improvisations rendered within a wonderful harmonic and melodic framework, that is at once fulfilling to the musician’s mind and music lover’s heart. It is a quality which embodies the fundamental appeal of Ms. Bell’s music and which conveys her special talents to a wider audience with her most recent endeavor, a contemporary instrumental album featuring many original compositions and arrangements.