Metal Blade Records 2012
It makes perfect sense that Trioscapes came together as a result of a planned Mahavishnu Orchestra cover. The trio, who most famously feature Between The Buried And Me bassist Dan Briggs, are wholly infused with the same penchant for adventurous jazzy introspection.
But much like T.R.A.M., this outfit, who are rounded out by drummer Matt Lynch and saxophonist/flutist Walter Fancourt, tether themselves not only to the erratic expressionism of jazz fusion; but a touch of prog rock styled consciousness expansion as well.
A bombastic and solely instrumental affair, Trioscapes are predominantly led by the ropey bass grooves of Briggs. Their incisiveness and edgy tones cut the path for the excitable skronky horns and ever-unpredictable percussive collapse that follows.
Despite its heady nature, a sense of playfulness is exhibited throughout the release. Be it an odd sound manipulation or the usage of unexpected instrumentation (look no further than a cartoon head hit and what sounds like an xylophone on the title track;) not everything here is to be taken seriously.
But while the trio are certainly having fun, there is a determinism instilled within their songs that keeps them pulling to an eventual conclusion. It’s a meaty listen that runs the sonic gamut from ethnic to animated.
Dynamically charged and musically gifted, these three plow through a colorful array of punchy grooves and extravagant jamming. But rarely do they get lost in the clouds thanks in part to the considerable weight of their low end focus and continual stylistic shifts.
Abrasiveness emerging from heady indulgence rather than overpowering distortion is a refreshing change of pace. This outfit may never truly fall deep in the pocket for long, but their perpetual counter-rhythmic tension and tendency to play off each other works wonders in keeping things fresh.
It’s not for everyone, but those who have record collections that start at Animals As Leaders and end at Zappa are in for quite a treat.
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