The Odd Trio?
This trio is the type of trio that jazz purists listen to behind closed doors and with the shades drawn...and love! From the home of the iconic indie rock band R.E.M we have The Odd Trio and their latest offering as Birth Of The Minotaur. Perhaps this is the end result of three classically trained musician getting a bit tired of the more button down approach to the classical scene and instead taking a more collective approach to a jazz trio that simply thrives on its own organic pulse. A band that feeds on itself and not the music in the strictest sense. Best put..."Be the ball Noonan!"
The creativity here is off the charts while still working in odd meter and bold improvisational tunes that are brimming with color and texture galore. The amazing aspect of why this trio seems to function in such a cohesive fashion is their mutual respect and lets not forget training in the formal traditions that are simply the building blocks for what is an adventurous journey through the looking glass of modern jazz. In short...I dig it.
Consider Birth Of The Minotaur as their modern jazz riff on the more traditional form and functionality of the classical symphony. This four part works breaks down into allegro, song, dance, and finale but with flair and the theoretical spin only 3 classically trained musicians could bring to the table. A theory geeks dream jazz ensemble gone wild but never self indulgent. Some of the more notable compositions include "Information Fatigue" and "Whiskey." While I found "Information Fatigue" particularly noteworthy as I continue to grind a never ending axe on the perils of social media, The Odd Trio pursues the more cerebral approach with a minimalist yet bold and rhythmic sense of direction. Less is more works. "Whiskey" is a more post modern tip of the hat to the ever popular "It must be happy hour some where!" A jazz tune that pays tribute to Tequila. I can work with this...."Sleeping Ariadne" perhaps more so than other tunes draws from their classical influence while including a Wayne Shorter inspired melody.
Bottom line is the release works on more levels than I have space to print. Organic, eclectic yet somehow never pushing themselves or the listener over the avaunt gard cliff. This trio works with the precision and timing of a group with twice their experience, toss in the fun factor and variety of sonic flavor and we have a winner! A release you will come back to time and again as the disc is one of those that gives up just a little more information with each subsequent spin.
A kaleidoscope of texture and flavor and yes folks...fun!
Tracks: Raucous Bacchus; Persephone's Pomegranate; Pasiphae's Wild Ride; Birth Of The Minotaur; Perseus (5-7-8); Deckard's Dream; Information Fatigue; Sunday Morning Improvisation; Ricio De Mare; Whiskey; Sleeping Ariadne; Raucous Bacchus (Coda).
Personnel: Brian Smith: guitar; Marc Gilley: saxophone; Todd Mueller: drums.