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Family Plan: Family Plan

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Family Plan: Family Plan
Family Plan belongs to the strain of piano trios, formed in the wake of The Bad Plus, that eschew a straight acoustic jazz approach in favor of music which often experiments with distortion, repetition and knotty, mechanical melodies, all of which display the close-knit interaction between the three group members, pianist Andrew Boudreau, bassist Simón Willson, and drummer Vincente Hansen.

The resemblance to The Bad Plus shows up most in the bumpy prog rock motion of "Life Is Good" where a formally angular theme quietens down into a simple classical piano line by Boudreau, and stately lead bass by Willson. On other tracks the piano seems to pull in a different direction to the bass and drums but somehow the parts fit together nicely. "Reptilian" features a busy piano part, with two overdubbed melodies, that gains force from the rhythm section and climaxes in a bit of ferocious drum bashing. "Who's Your Copilot" has romantic piano stepping carefully over Hansen's erratic drum beats, a pattern revisited in a dreamier ambience on "Little River." On "Touch" Boudreau gently repeats a melody fragment as the bass and drums babble. The overall sound deepens with piano reverb, and the trio goes out repeating the original theme together in a slowly rocking tempo as Hansen hits his kit authoritatively .

Electronics seep into the mix on several tunes They appear briefly on "Life Is Good," shadow the rustling cymbals and delicate piano sounds of "Seemingly OK' and become a loud, disruptive force amidst the broken piano fragments of "Celebratory." Conventional jazz rhythms show up in the bumpy, off-center swing of "Scam Likely" where Boudreau prances with Andrew Hill-like dexterity and "Groundhog Day" where a definite groove underlines light, bubbling piano. "What's Your Fee," the jazziest piece on the set, adds Kevin Sun's tenor saxophone as a steadying influence. He blows a strong, rippling through line which provides a solid jazz center for the trio's combination of jumpy rhythmic attack and distorted piano fragments to congeal around.

Family Plan's individual parts do not seem like they should fit together but they do. The three players rarely all play together at the same time but their explorations give off a quirky sparkling energy which is accessible and enjoyable in its own erratic way.

Track Listing

Celebratory; Life is Good; Reptilian; Scam Likely; Who’s Your Copilot; Little River; Seemingly OK; Groundhog Day; Touch; What’s Your Fee; El Mono.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Kevin Sun: tenor saxophone (10).

Album information

Title: Family Plan | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Endectomorph Music


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