Arthur Kell is a character. Just like the title of his album, he is also a traveler. His experiences have injected on him new ideas about composition, but most importantly about music's celebration. The music of Traveller is played with a particular inspiration. Kell describes the origin of each composition and the history that goes with it.
Each track on Traveller begins with a new journey; the result being versatility alongside smooth tones performed by four talented jazzers. The virtuosity of Gorka Benitez adds supplemental colors, dynamics and fruity vibratos with his saxophone and with his clarinet he blows fire-trilling sounds. As clever as his playing, this Spanish musician was awarded with many grants and is an accomplished sideman.
Steve Cardenas is showcased throughout from "I believe ‘ya" to "Lucy’s Back," enjoyable on the whole, with his guitar constantly shifting musical ideas. Cardenas, a Kansas boy, is well known in the New York musical community and is a member of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, as well as Joey Baron’s quartet, "Killer Joey."
Joe Smith contributes nicely with an intermittent drum pressure from straight time to smooth offbeats. Smiths’ cymbals crackle and sizzle. "Hermeto," "Mary Louise" (wrote in memory of Kell’s mother) and "Lucy’s Back" are great pieces of jazz music. The band maintains excitement and ersatz Spanish interjections.
Traveller is an album full of improvisations, creating a patchwork of musical influences combining instrumental training, historical musical knowledge and loaded with many emotional moments.