Trichotomy – The Gentle War (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 50:31 minutes | 942 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Naim Records
The Gentle War, is the superb new album from Australian piano trio Trichotomy and the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed Naim Jazz debut Variations.
Recorded shortly after the band’s UK tour early last year it finds the lauded trio in especially dynamic form and while their music could be compared to the likes of EST or The Bad Plus, Foran also cites his time here as an influence on the music – and not just our beer, but bands such as label mates Neil Cowley Trio, John Taylor and Acoustic Ladyland – but The Gentle War is very much the sound of a band developing their own unique sound.
The Gentle War finds the band happily building on the success of Variations but is more tightly focused on the trio itself. Mixed by Brent Sigmeth (The Bad Plus) the album brings a rockier edge to the mix but without compromising on the beauty of the piano sound. It’s an aural reflection of the band’s music, what one critic called their ‘juxtaposition of aggresiveness and tenderness’. Indeed it is this friction which is at the heart of the band’s appeal: Their music is both densely rhythmic and sharply melodic, with Foran’s excellent compositions seeking a balance between heavily notated sections and completely free improvisations and with the trio allowing ideas to develop naturally.
The album opens with Chase, a short, catchy song, almost pop-like but with some surprising time signatures. Wrestle features a deceptively simple melody and harmony that the trio twist and turn, much like it is wrestling with itself. Blues For The Space, is a beautiful piece, very still, meditative and reflective, and features a superb spontaneous improvisation from the trio. Cute, written by Parker for his son is a fun portrait any parent will ‘get’ and the visceral Shut Up aims its angry punch at reality TV. But it is the album’s gripping title track, The Gentle War, that best encapsulates what Foran and his colleagues are striving for. It moves through three distinct sections, and explores some odd time signatures, but is also a really textural piece incorporating solo parts on bass and drums and always feels organic and natural. And it this distinct approach to their music, simultaneously thunderous and hushed…harsh but reflective, that makes Trichotomy so compelling.
1. Trichotomy – Chase (05:02)
2. Trichotomy – Wrestle (07:30)
3. Trichotomy – Blues For The Space (08:45)
4. Trichotomy – The Gentle War (06:51)
5. Trichotomy – Cute (05:42)
6. Trichotomy – Sync (04:39)
7. Trichotomy – Shut Up (04:40)
8. Trichotomy – Not According To Plan (07:18)
Sean Foran – piano
John Parker – percussion
Pat Marchisella – acoustic bass