Lori Bell Quartet

Recorda Me: Remembering Joe Henderson (Lori Bell Music)

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 higher standards of performance while earning acclaim from both peers and critics for her artistry on stage and in recordings.

Bell plays with confidence and taste, with a proclivity toward the more subtle means of emotional expression. Her playing inherently has a many-layered depth that reveals a more meaningful art. She renders ballads with exceptional sensitivity while bringing wonderful nuances to swing and be-bop, which she plays with power, agility and a natural élan. Her phrasing, evocative of birds, shows the strong influence of Eric Dolphy, yet is rendered with such purity of tone and range of timbre that it is clearly of a different ornithology.

Lori Bell is a three time Global Music Award recipient recognized for her recordings, compositions, and arrangements.

In 2016 Lori paid heartfelt tribute to her family and birthplace on her critically acclaimed album Brooklyn Dreaming earning four star ratings from Jazz Journal UK, Jazz Times, the Los Angeles Times (four and a half stars) and Downbeat, which chose it as “Best Albums of 2016.” Huffington Post also chose Brooklyn Dreaming for their “Best of Jazz 2016”. Bill Milkowski wrote in the March 2016 issue of Downbeat: “Bell flaunts prodigious chops on both C flute and alto flute, though her pen might be mightier than her sword. Her originals all reveal a wide harmonic palette, a sophisticated rhythmic sensibility and a refined sense of dynamics, along with an urge to swing.” Veteran jazz critic Scott Yanow chose it as one of his Top 25 Best jazz CD’s of 2016. It also won a Global Music Award for Outstanding Achievement for compositions and arrangements.

Bell has toured throughout the United States playing festivals and clubs such as Birdland NYC, The Blue Note NYC, The Jazz Bakery LA, Catalina’s LA, The Gene Harris Jazz Festival, Jazz Summit 2 LA, and Jazz in the Pines festival. In 1994 and again in 2000 Lori toured Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong. She has also performed in high profile ensemble settings at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, SOKA Performing Arts Center in Orange County, CA, The Wadsworth Theater at UCLA, and more recently, on a project of jazz arrangements and classical compositions for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Library. She has performed three times for the National Flute Association in 1996, 2011, and 2016.

In addition to her global renown as a performer and recording artist, Lori is a respected force in music education. She is currently on the faculty as an Instructor of Flute/Jazz at San Diego State University and over the years, has privately taught hundreds of students of all ages in flute, piano (her secondary instrument), theory, composition and arranging at her studio in San Diego. She has taught master classes for the New York Flute Club, Columbia University, UCLA, and at Mannes, a music conservatory in The New School in NYC.

While branding herself as an artist and performer who plays everything “from Bach to Bebop,” flutist Lori Bell’s musical muse extends even beyond those worlds. A musical chameleon by nature, she is continuously evolving and committed to pursuing her musical passions – the latest is a quartet concept called The Modern Line featuring original material and arrangements of modern jazz legends such as Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Bill Evans.

Her debut on Discovery Records, “Love Will Win” with pianist Dave Mackay and bassist Andy Simpkins, received warm praise and four and a half stars (out of five) from the esteemed Leonard Feather and was selected on the Grammy list for Best New Artist in 1983. A second Discovery disc, “Take Me To Brazil”, demonstrated her ability to maintain a high level of inspiration. This album featured the first of several fine original compositions and was enthusiastically given four stars by the Los Angeles Times in 1989.

Over the past 20 years, Ms. Bell’s many performances in venues such as the Wadsworth Theater, SOKA Performing Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center, established her reputation, among musicians and audiences alike, as a remarkably vital interpreter. A recent performance at The Vic was exemplary of this quality, prompting the critic for the L.A. Times to note that “Bell’s playing – on C flute and the lower, darker sounding alto flute – was gorgeous, filled with light and air on the ballads, briskly inventive on her bop-tinged improvisations”.

In 1998, this artistic maturity was delightfully demonstrated with 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 garnered 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.

After a 2004 date at “The Vic”, the L.A. Times noted that INTERPLAY’S “constantly engaging set” rendered “the tunes with the collective enthusiasm and musicality that defines the work of this superlative ensemble”.

Ms. Bell conveyed her special talents to a wider audience with her first solo endeavor, her eponymous debut. Released in 2002 on the Beezwax label, the “Lori Bell” album featured several fine arrangements of original compositions and standards. The Grammy Award panel recognized the album’s comprehensive excellence with selections in five categories, among them Best Instrumental Arrangement, Best Composition, and Best Instrumental Solo. The CD also won a 2011 Global Music Award. “The GMA’s Award of Excellence goes to Lori Bell for her album ‘Lori Bell” which features music of depth and outstanding arrangements of original composition.”

As a leader, Bell has recorded 12 albums for such labels as Discovery Records, Beezwax Records, Azica Records, and Resonance Records. Signing with Resonance in 2008, Bell’s first album, “The Music of Djavan” featured pianist Tamir Hendelman, bassist David Enos, and drummer Enzo Todesco. Praised as “…a rousing send up at the hands of one of the finest virtuoso flutists of our time” (Latin Jazz Network) and “a brilliant piece of discovery for jazz explorers.” (All Jazz Network), the disc also received a 2009 San Diego Music Award nomination for Best Jazz Album. The newfound sympathy and inspired music making of this collaboration was most recently rendered in live performances in Los Angeles at Catalina Jazz Club, Crown Plaza LAX Jazz Club, Vitello’s and a special performance for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Library.

Available 2024-04-19
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Lori Bell: C flute, Alto flute on #6
Josh Nelson: Piano
David Robaire: Bass
Dan Schnelle: Drums

Track Listing

  1. Isotope (4:39)
  2. A Shade of Jade (6:15)
  3. Out of the Night (4:56)
  4. Serenity (6:14)
  5. Inner Urge (5:11)
  6. Black Narcissus (7:17)
  7. Outer Urge (6:09)
  8. Punjab (7:15)
  9. Recorda Me (5:51)

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