“Canadian pianist Marilyn Lerner has garnered a name for herself as one of the most diverse and exciting pianists to emerge in the last ten years. Best known among her releases is a series of albums with the co-op Queen Mab Trio, with violist Ig Henneman and clarinetist Lori Friedman. But also included in her discography are several albums based around Jewish music, a duo set with guitarist Sonny Greenwich and a number of piano trio releases, all drawing on both improvisation and composition. Arms Spread Wide may be the first time Lerner has recorded with bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Lou Grassi, but they sound like a seasoned trio. Compositional credits going to all three players suggests that the music is pure improvisation. The musicians seem to know each other well, can suss out each others’ intentions, and take the music in different directions, comfortable that the others will respond.
Lerner has found a pair of enormously simpatico players in Filiano and Grassi. They cover a wide terrain and are not boxed in by the limiting specificities of labels like ‘free jazz’ and ‘piano trio’ With Arms Spread Wide one of Lerner’s strongest releases, and one of the best piano trio discs released in some time, hopefully this group stays together and continues making music this vital.” — Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz