It's not easy watching all the divergent and elusive pieces come together on Trio Grande, saxophonist Will Vinson, guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer/percussionist Antonio Sanchez's first outing, but then that's not their desire at all. Their work is to challenge the expectations and inclinations that dull and lull us into complacency, into wholly unimaginative realms and lead us to yon wider vistas.
Born from various residencies at the NY's legendary (in fall 2020 temporarily shuttered) Cornelia Street Café, each member, journeying to New York from distant shoresBritain, Israel, Mexicoexcitedly knit and plait their music with an earthy limber. Bold, equal measures of Vinson's potent texture, Hekselman's chimes and snarls and Sánchez's sly, percussive humor backbone Trio Grande's solid eight tracks, genuinely establishing the trio as a creative and crafty entity we'll want to hear more from in the future.
Let's break the habit of starting from the beginning and begin halfway at Hekselman's "Scoville," nine vivid minutes of funk 'n' groove 'n' rock 'n' roll and whatever else catches your ear and the trio's fancy. Bouncing and bounding between song form and freedom, this track alone could be the prime exhibit of the trio's distinctly stimulating group-energy, but it's followed by Sánchez's rock fevered "Gocta" or, should you decide to proceed backwards, Vinson's deceptively poppy "Upside" or the hand-clapping joyride of Hekselman's "Elli Yeled Tov." Driven by riffs emanating from the guitarist's lower ranges, (one might suspect a phantom bassist in the mix somewhere) "Northbound" sets things into full motion, as Vinson and Sánchez seemingly hop-scotch about. The slow rolling and reverberant "Oberkampf," the cool frenzy of "Firenze," and the atmospheric ballad "Will You Let It" each bring plenty to an A game debut.
Northbound; Elli Yeled Tov; Oberkampf; Upside; Scoville;, Gocta; Firensze; Will You Let It?.