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Trichotomy - The Gentle War

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 3 / 3 / 2011

Trichotomy - The Gentle War
Label: Naim Label
Format: CD


Innovative and skilful latest alabum from Australian trio Trichotomy, who combine their piano jazz sound with the influence of electronica and rock music

Australian trio Trichotomy are one of a number of jazz groups bridging a traditional cool piano jazz style with the influence of electronica and rock music. Though they have been playing in Australia for many years, releasing a series of albums, ‘The Gentle War’ is only their second international release, following last year’s very well received ‘Variations’. Comparisons to the much-missed Esbjorn Svensson Trio are inevitable, largely because their set up (piano, double-bass, drums) and style (tight grooves interrupted with gentle melodic explorations) is so similar. But, Trichotomy are no mere imitation, and with a wide range of styles squeezed across these eight tracks, they have made an album that is adventurous and varied, but never un-enjoyable. The album reaches its high point on its title track - a clipped, pretty melody is gently stripped apart with some dextrous drumming, before a double-bass solo breaks the track down. The piano returns with a glorious flourish before the tone of the song’s opening section returns and the trio let it swing into a lovely tuneful conclusion. Very nearly as good is ‘Cute’, with a danceable melody and fantastic interplay between the bass and drums, shifts between simple grooves and moments of wild release. On tracks like this, the gap between modern jazz and the jazz-influenced electronica made by artists like Four Tet has never been shorter. The doom laden riff that forms the intro to ‘Shut Up’, with thundering thumped piano chords, leads into a rare moment where the band given in to their free jazz impulses. Even then, this only lasts briefly, and the track is rebuilt again into something that a heavy metal band might fancy getting their teeth into. Innovative and skilful - ‘The Gentle War’ will impress an audience far wider than jazz diehards.

Track Listing:-
1 Chase
2 Wrestle
3 Blues For The Space
4 The Gentle War
5 Cute
6 Sync
7 Shut Up
8 Not According To Plan

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