The State of The Piano Trio 2010 (Pt.1): Helge Lien Trio and Trichotomy
The disc opens with Foran's "Island In The Sun." Drummer Parker sets up forward motion with a rim-shot figure that is picked up by Foran and bassist Marchisella. The trio pulls back, slowing down and opening up during the middle section, where an ebb and flow is established. Parker solos percussively, a trend that will continue throughout the disc where the bassist extends his playing from tautly muscular to throbbing abandon. At times Parker's bass sound like an electric guitar, at others buzzing bullets (hear the violent, propulsive blues "Chunk," and think of Flea meeting pianist Cecil Taylor).
Ballads "At The Right Moment," "Please" and "Ascent" display Foran's smooth and light touch and the sympathetic leadership of the rest of the rhythm section. The trio is joined by a strings: violinist Christa Powell and violist Bernard Hoey and alto saxophonist John Babbage on "Start," a reflective morning shower of a chamber piece. "Ascent" extends this chamber sound with trumpeter Peter Knight and electronicist Lawrence English providing assorted effects, giving the piece a space music ambience. More so than Hello Troll, Variations requires greater listening attention that is well paid off in the end.
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Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Gamut Warning; Axis Of Free Will; Radio; Troozee; Diverted Dance; It Is What It Is, But It Is; Halla Troll; Snurt; In The Wind Somewhere.
Personnel: Helge Lien: piano; Frode Berg: bass; Knut Aaleflaet: drums.
Tracks: Island Of The Sun; At The Right Moment; Branching Out; Start; Ascent; Variations On A Bad Day; Chunk; Please; The Unknown; Labyrinth.
Personnel: Sean Foran: piano; John Parker: drums; Pat Marchisella: acoustic bass; Christa Powell: violin (4); Bernard Hoey: viola (4); John Babbage: alto saxophone (4); Peter Knight: trumpet (5); Lawrence English: electronics (5).