375

Trichotomy: Variations

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The Australian trio Trichotomy formed in 1999 and Variations, recorded in May 2007, is the group's third album—originally released in Australia under the band name Misinterprotato (Jazz Heads, 2008). The band describes itself on its website as a "contemporary music trio," which is "so much more than a traditional jazz trio"—a bold declaration, especially as the piano, bass, drums lineup initially suggests a very traditional jazz trio. But Variations is full of inventive, original and enjoyable music and the "is it jazz or isn't it" debate is an unnecessary distraction.

Variations features ten original pieces. Writing credits are shared between pianist Sean Foran and drummer John Parker, with "Labyrinth" listed as a group improvisation. Foran's compositions are more straight-ahead than Parker's, displaying a hard bop influence and characterized by strong rhythm and immediate and accessible melodies. Parker's tunes have a freer and more experimental feel, in both their construction and their sound—displaying some similarities with the work of fellow Australians The Necks.

The album opens strongly with "Island of the Sun," a mid-tempo tune by Foran with powerful hard-edged playing from all three musicians. Foran's "At the Right Moment" and "Ascent" demonstrate a more lyrical and contemplative side of the band, as does Parker's "Please." By contrast, Parker's "Chunk" is a spiky, angular, tune reminiscent of the work of British bands such as Acoustic Ladyland.

The trio lineup is expanded on two tunes—Parker's "Start" and Foran's "Ascent." The latter benefits especially from Peter Knight's trumpet playing, which adds to the evocative atmosphere of the tune. "Start" adds strings and alto sax to the basic trio and the result is the album's finest track. The additional instruments are used sparingly—they are absent from the tune's mid-section—but to great effect, with the violin of Christa Powell and the viola of Bernard Hoey creating beautiful soaring patterns over the other instruments.

Rather confusingly the band continues to be known in Australia as Misinterprotato. Whatever the name, the band's repertoire is fresh and exciting—and, yes, varied. Variations should be the album that propels Trichotomy to world-wide recognition.

Track Listing

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).

Album information

Title: Variations | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Naim Label

Watch

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

More

Read Cell Walk
Cell Walk
Sara Schoenbeck/Wayne Horvitz
Read Live In Graz
Live In Graz
Joe Fielder's Big Sackbut
Read Mid Century Modern
Mid Century Modern
Doug MacDonald
Read #BLACKLIVESMATTER
#BLACKLIVESMATTER
The Ogún Meji Duo featuring Dr. Mark Lomax, II and Edwin Bayard
Read Africa Today
Africa Today
Etuk Ubong
Read Stillefelt
Stillefelt
Stillefelt