Home » Jazz Articles » Multiple Reviews » 3x3: Piano Trios: May 2023


3x3: Piano Trios: May 2023


Sign in to view read count
We're still wandering all over the place here; from abstract to groovy and back again, or sometimes some of both at once.

Little North
Wide Open
Self Produced

This Scandinavian outfit figuratively wanders farther into the wilds every time around, it seems—their style doesn't have many traces of traditional jazzy forms at all, but they trade it for a sort of evocative impressionism. This one makes a figurative portrait of the Nordic landscape, all wild hills and spots of unexpected calm. It's impossible to guess where they're going around each curve; from the increased proportion of free improv built into this batch of pieces, they might not really know either.

Still, if there aren't very recognizable forms here, there's always some current to follow. They'll spin a vast picture with dynamic swells and troughs, using foreboding string-bowing or percussive crashes to create some drama, then ease back into a more melodic groove with warm piano flourishes. Little North's sharp interplay is as strong as their sense of adventure—they'll rarely get your toes tapping, but they'll do their damndest to take you somewhere you've never been and probably never imagined.

Floris Kappeyne Trio
Self Produced

For Floris Kappeyne and friends, getting closer to something special meant getting farther away from everything else. As the first phase of the Covid pandemic gave way to loosened restrictions and the world got noisy again, they retreated to a castle in France to regain some of the quiet that had been lost. Closer embodies the exact mood it was made in: played in a cozy space front of a warm fire, recorded close up for immersive binaural sound, and focused on the moment with no busy distractions.

One can hear how Kappeyne's roots lie in both jazz and classical, but these pieces exist in their own space without dipping too much into either. The players seem to spend this session drifting as much as playing. They let their easygoing grooves patiently emerge and grow, wander from warm harmony to slight dissonance and back, then fade out as naturally as a dream. The tones of piano and bass get blended with some light synthesizer and arco bowing, in the same way the recording is woven with the actual sounds of the castle itself. Whether the ears consciously pick them up or not, all the small layers make the experience feel not quite of this world yet closer to something outside it.

Self Produced

While this 'gram doesn't spell anything out in words, it comes through clearly that its message is some kind of party invitation. TrioGram boasts some impressive CVs, and they've got a nice range of facets to show on their second outing, from brisk timeless bop to South American rhythms and a '90s smooth-pop cover turned snappy and swinging. Through it all, the main thing is that they always want to keep the place bouncing.

While everyone gets some space to shine, the group's ongoing dialogue (or rather trio-logue) is beautifully egalitarian enough to make sure there isn't any one star. It's a blend that borrows musical odds and ends from any decade without quite sounding like they're looking backwards. Hopskotching through some tricky chordal "Changes," bringing some jaunty Americana to the bandstand with the bright highlight of "Lalyc's Groove," or turning Irving Berlin's thoughtful "How Deep Is the Ocean" into a roiling romp to close things out, they make sure the conversation is gripping and the playfulness infectious.

Tracks and Personnel

Wide Open

Tracks: Improv #1; Floating; Sunyata; Improv #2; Elna; With Four Shadows; Dissolving Points; Swell; Improv #3; Lullaby for a Day Fly; Isolation Song.

Personnel: Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen: piano; Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen: bass; Lasse Jacobsen: drums.


Tracks: Mirror II; Closer; Fantasy; Demon; Inner Monologue; Memories Lost, Like Tears in Rain; Powder Blue, Burgundy and Sage.

Personnel: Floris Kappeyne: piano, synthesizers; Tijs Klaasen: double bass; Wouter Kühne: drums.


Tracks: Esau; Changes; Street of Dreams; Asojano; Ezra; Lalyc's groove; Trap; Thank You; How Deep Is the Ocean.

Personnel: Bijan Taghavi: piano; Will Lyle: bass; Kofi Shepsu: drums.



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


8 Concepts of Tango
Hakon Skogstad
How Long Is Now
Christian Marien Quartett
Heartland Radio
Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.