Matthew Fries, Phil Palombi and Keith Hall were brought together as the backing trio for jazz vocalist, Curtis Stigers, and toured extensively building up a level of musical communication that has become rare in the jazz world. With Tri-Fi they step into the spotlight and build on this musical chemistry with original compositions, new arrangements, and a vibrant swing in the tradition of the classic jazz piano trio. The result has been rave reviews.
"There is a big difference between a 'band' and musicians who just work together occasionally," explains Hall. "Because we spend so much time together, there is a freedom that is expressed in our music. We always have lots of fun."
Tri-Fi's style has been compared to the music of the Bill Evans Trio, the Oscar Peterson Trio, and modern piano trios of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea - these are all major influences to the band.
Tri-Fi were praised on their self-titled debut album for "the perpetual forward thrust of the music... and their flawless intercommunication" by All About Jazz, and described as infusing "creative writing, fresh arranging and complimentary playing to offer us music that has to be reckoned with" by JazzReview.com.
On their 2007 release, Postcards, the three musicians again share compositional duties and the resulting music on this CD of entirely original material ranges widely in style and influence. All Music Guide says, "Tri-Fi is well on their way to incorporating new style and strength to their already potent brand of piano trio music."
"Tri-Fi is a winner!"
- Ed Thigpen
"The trio are as smooth and sleek as you could ask, but when grit and grease and a little R&B are required, the musicians are never at a loss."
- Clive Davis - The London Times
“TRI-FI has a sound everybody can root for!”
- Bill Wood, Kalamazoo Gazette
“This trio snaps and crackles like a fireplace full of well-seasoned Yule logs...”
- Neil Tesser, Chicago Jazz Music Examiner