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).

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


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24 CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Aleka CD/LP/Track Review Aleka
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "Sovereign" CD/LP/Track Review Sovereign
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor