Trioscope: Trioscope Featuring Chris Cheek (2006)
While it's generally under a mainstream jazz canopy, the music is open and fresh, marked by interesting shifts and an intimate sound covering a variety of themes. "Offbeat Livin' switches from a whimsical vamp into pleasant piano and sax interludes, its theme has varying tension.
The trio also has a propensity to shift musical directions, which keeps the music vibrant. The title piece serves up bop-themed swing, only to give way to a quiet saxophone solo and an uncanny but effective bowed solo by Brodsgaard. On "B Sharp in C Sharp the music integrates touches of chamber and contemporary music styles with free improvisation.
Chris Cheek, who has been making a name for himself as a smooth and versatile saxophonist, is featured heavily, and he glows on slower numbers like "Inconsequence of Life where his blustery tone is diffused with sentiment. Yet he is always propelled by the strength of the trio's musicianship and unity. This is most obvious on an exquisite version of the classic ballad "Where Are You? where his tenor is enhanced by the skilled accompaniment.
Marko plays the piano with a classical impressionist flavor, but also with a certain spontaneity that's reminiscent of two of his contemporaries, Jason Moran and Frank Kimbrough. Brodsgaard and Templeton equalize the other sides of the triangle with robust bass and blossoming drums. The resulting music is enjoyable and poignantthankfully, not just another stuffy and conventional piano trio recording.
Track Listing: Offbeat Livin'; Trioscope; B Sharp in C Sharp; Inconsequence of Life; Wayne's World; Where Are You?; Memorandum; The Girl With 3 Names; Nardis.
Personnel: Marko Martinovic: piano; Kristor Brodsgaard: bass; Janus Templeton: drums; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone (1-4,6,7).
Record Label: Cope Records