(The Gentle War – naimcd156 – Review by Chris Parker)
Australian trio Trichotomy‘s live performances skilfully blend hushed minimalism with vigorous, muscular jazz and this, their second album for Naim, is appropriately named, the title neatly summing up their overall approach. Thunderous (yet carefully controlled) power is tellingly juxtaposed with tender, musing delicacy, not only in the multi-hued title-track, but also in pianist Sean Foran‘s ‘Blues for the Space’, written for a performance in a Leeds church when he was a music student in the city a couple of years ago.
Although Foran wrote six of the album’s eight tracks (drummer John Parker supplies the other two), The Gentle War is very much a trio effort, Parker, Foran and bassist Pat Marchisella striking sparks off each other in both the overtly punchy selections (‘Shut Up’, a swipe at the banality of reality TV) and the more circumspect material (‘Cute’, an affecting reflection on parenthood).
Dynamic control and textural subtlety may be the trio’s most obvious strengths, but the jazz-piano trio’s other core values, lyricism, tunefulness and rhythmic vitality, are by no means neglected on this fine follow-up to 2009’s excellent Variations.
Trichotomy will be at the Vortex on Wednesday 16th Feb, and touring