Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Known-Unknown

Known-Unknown

Challenge Records
2017

buy
Healthy

Healthy

Self Produced
2014

buy
The Gentle War

The Gentle War

Naim Label
2011

buy
Variations

Variations

Naim Label
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Down a Rabbit Hole CD/LP/Track Review
Down a Rabbit Hole
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Trioliloquy CD/LP/Track Review
Trioliloquy
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Perspectives II CD/LP/Track Review
Perspectives II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Red CD/LP/Track Review
Red
by Nick Catalano
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read "Frames & Terrains" CD/LP/Track Review Frames & Terrains
by John Sharpe
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Lessons Lyrical" CD/LP/Track Review Lessons Lyrical
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "Make Big Band Great Again" CD/LP/Track Review Make Big Band Great Again
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2018
Read "Liver" CD/LP/Track Review Liver
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" CD/LP/Track Review Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 6, 2018
Read "TRIOKAIT2" CD/LP/Track Review TRIOKAIT2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2018