Trine CD Compilation:
TRINE: "+1" (TrineArc Music)
"+1", Trine's second recording, continues further with the trios collective improvisational explorations with the addition of bassist Chris Lopes to the core trio.
The musical selections on the CD have the group evolving with a multi- directional compositional palette. One third of the CD allows the quartet to develop many musical devices and textures such as with the pedal point/ drone of: "Passage" and the time sketches of "Walking in New York" and "Time Piece".
Other individual compositional contributions come to the fold with the sectional compositions of Chris Lopes in "Pancake Supper" and "Retro" and the introspective ballads of Jim Robitaille's "Still" and Back To "Bayeux".
Saxophonist Rick Britto brought Thelonious Monk's "Nutty" for the group to dig into for this session, as well as having engineered, mixed and mastered the recording.
Jim Robitaille (September (2010)
TRINE: Politics (Fuller Street Music)
Saxophonist Rick Britto, guitarist Jim Robitaille, and drummer Chris Poudrier have performed together throughout New England for years in various ensembles, but this is their first recording together. What you have in your hand and in your CD player, is a trio project that has a clear group conception: the compositions (originals and one Clare Fischer piece), the improvisations, and the presentation. In the current landscape of jazz/improvised music that has so many vital and viable threads, sub-genres, and categories, perhaps the challenge of this music is still in creating an engaging synthesis of personal influences. These three musicians have met this challenge.
TRINE is the three-sided, three-dimensional percussion instrument that appears on the cover of this recording. That instrument, with its distinctive sound and unique shape makes a durable model, analogy, and name for this ensemble, (more so than the common percussion "triangle"), primarily because of . The 'Trine' image suggests to me the idea of not merely a three-sided (pitched and rhythmic) instrument, but a 3-D sound tunnel.
Conceptually, the three sides of this recording, represented by Britto's saxophone, Robitaille's guitar, and Poudrier's drums, are the variety of roles implied and explored by this formation. Listen for the layers, the soloists vs. the supporters, the collective improvisations, the 'comping (by all three), and the melodic/harmonic/intervallic content (and doublings), and much more!
When you dig down into this music you'll find that all your listening is rewarded. "Politics", the Robitaille-penned title tune, immediately displays the trio's principal strength: flexibility, as well as the composer statement of 'protest'. This opening track, the longest on the recording at over eleven minutes, shows that TRINE is only focused on the exploration of the music at hand, and not on other concerns.
The two Poudrier compositions, "Red Hawk Will Fly" and "Hungry Shark", use references to the natural world, evoking bold, striking creatures and rituals to conjure up different sound worlds. The Fischer work is a 5/4 drum feature that lives up to its title. Robitaille's "Figures" and "Out of Bounds" feature tri-tonic phrases and the "balance of positive/negative space" in the former, and parallel harmonies on a repeated 13-bar form in the latter.
This is not a guitar/saxophone quartet without bass. These
performances are intended for and shaped by this trio, and with the octave-transposing characteristics of the tenor saxophone and the guitar, and the ever-present highly-interactive Poudrier bass drum, you'll find that nothing is missing. There is no low-register hole in these textures, as all three players move in and out of it freely throughout the music. The guitar, tenor saxophone, and drum set, all have had luminous, powerful histories in improvised (and other) music. Each of these three instruments, in other hands, could easily overpower the trio. The three committed musicians in TRINE strike a superb balance between their individual contributions and the ensemble needs.
The disc's title, POLITICS, is a provocative word for these proceedings because this word can be applied to many aspects of our lives: politics in the nation's capital, at city hall, at the work place, and in religious and educational institutions. POLITICS, as a concept, can be thought of as group decision-making and interactions, or in its most direct form, the relationships of power - 'acquired power' and 'applied power'. Music, and specifically improvised music, is perhaps the pinnacle of non-verbal group interaction, and this 'balance of power'. Appreciate this first TRINE recording, seek them out live, and watch and listen for more engaging music.
-Andy McWain (September 2007)
- Modern Jazz