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Trio

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This Polish trio first came together a decade ago, playing with Tomasz Stanko. Then in their teens, their rapport with the trumpet player 40 years their elder was immediate, and they still continue to this day as a quartet. Here they cast out on their own, showing the full breadth of artistry. Pianist Marcin Wasilewski is the primary writer, composing a third of the set. His pieces range from the perky "K.T.C." to the jubilant "Shine." In addition to a handful of group improvisations, they also cover Stanko's "Green Sky," Wayne Shorter's "Plaza Real," and, in a surprise move, a gorgeously rendered version of Björk's "Hyperballad." Following similar impulses as Bill Evans, they embrace jazz piano trio traditions, along with European classical motifs. --David Greenberger

Review

It is a work of exquisitely nuanced quietude. -- Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes, June 2005

Trio's sonics capture each instrument brilliantly, making it a marvelous feast for the ears. -- Larry Nai, Cadence - October 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B00076QGF0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jan P. Dennis on March 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Out of left field. Check. Three Poles, who form the backup group to trumpet genius, Thomasz Stanko. But who would've predicted that they'd move the music beyond their boss and master? (Well, setting modesty aside, I did say, in my review of Stanko's Suspended Night, "As impressive as Stanko is here . . . the real heroes are his Polish [backup group].")

Weird intersection of ravishing beauty and hardcore rigor. Check. These guys, although they can and do hang with the most gorgeous of the recent ECM trio outings, e.g., the Tord Gustavson Trio, Anderson/Tsabropoulos/Marshall, and Taylor/Johnson/Baron, also have a similarly rigorous, deeply delved jazz sensibility. Where they got it from, who knows. Endlessly listening to Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett sides clandestinely available in Poland? Tuning in to Radio Free America jazz broadcasts? Encountering likeminded musicians as they toured the Free World with their trumpet master? Somehow connecting with, absorbing, and transmuting Ryuichi Sakamoto's unique musical vision? It matters little. The important thing is, they've got it.

Absolute assurance in the conceptualization and execution of their unique musical vision. Check. This is jazz that I've never heard before, but, paradoxically, have heard my entire adult life. Shades of past and present masters (Evans, Jarrett, Werner, Lafaro, Baron, Haden, Motian, Erskine, Higgins), dancing, lilting, singing, swinging in their own glorious idiom, resonating with jazz icons of the first water, but somehow uniquely showing forth their own hard-won musical insights.

Music that's just too beautiful, but that you don't want to quit listening to (unlike saccharine sweet jazz lite, that initially beguiles but soon wears out its welcome). Check.
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Format: Audio CD
This was an impulse buy for me, as I was looking for something new in the ECM canon, i.e., some late-night or "3 a.m." jazz. It's easy to say after having this album for a few months that I got exactly what I was looking for.

The influences are generally agreed upon by the other reviewers listed here: Bill Evans, perhaps the quieter side of Keith Jarrett, but this is certainly something different. This younger trio does have their own language and brand of telepathy, so it is not a ripoff of things done better by other artists. This is a piano trio with their own sound that can be recognized and not confused with other groups/performers.

Wasilewski's sound is pretty impressive. I like his phrasing and sensitivity; he's not trying to get too far outside and is more concerned with getting to the heart of the matter, but when he does take chances he never falters. Occasionally you'll have to contend with his vocalise, but that's something that has never bothered me (not even with Jarrett, ha!).

The original compositions contain chord changes that are more on the diatonic or modal side, often closing with vamps, and none of the songs seem to be vehicles for how clever or virtuosic the trio can be; they are more interested in creating a contemplative mood than blowing their stacks. Other songs seem to have been improvised on the spot, and their titles will tell you which ones they are.

I like "Free-Bop" a lot; a little free jazz head that I keep whistling, and a nice springboard for some free improv from the group.

This is a solid effort and I can't find anything at all wrong with it. It's the kind of album you keep coming back to. It does what it sets out to do very nicely, indeed.
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I am always listening to a lot of new music. And when there's a new ECM release I usually grab it immediately. That was the case with Trio. And I am glad. Here we have wonderful, inventive, relaxed trio playing by three very talented players. Young, creative guys I have seen at Blues Alley here in D.C. accompanying Tomasz Stanko. I think I may prefer the Trio to the Stanko group as I find Stanko's searing, sarchastic tone (reminding me of Prokofiev & Shostakovich) can wear me down a bit. Listening to Trio these past couple of weeks I have been reminded of an old-ish favorite of mine, Lyle Mays's Fictionary, with all its Bill Evans-isms. This is not a bad thing. Trio is a really rewarding new release. I will look forward to hearing more from these guys.
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Format: Audio CD
I've seen Simple Acoustic Trio (the full name of the band) live with Stanko on March 6 and I was smitten, esp. by the piano virtuoso and their energy. I bought the CD and, though restrained compared to the concert, it is one of my current favourites (esp. Bjork's Hyperballad, KTC and Sister's Song). I like this kind of piano playing (I also like Jarrett, Evans, Svensson of EST) and this atmosphere reminiscent of Stanko but more, shall I say, "optimistic". Strong 5 stars and a place in Top 10% of my CD collection.
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I got this CD on the recommendation of an NPR music reviewer, and when I first listened to it, I didn't hear the laid-back, easy mellowness I'd been led to expect. But when I gave it another go, I began hearing the wonderful complexity of haunting melodic riffs, the soulful bass lines, and agitated drum work, and while I can't pronounce the names of any of the performers, I fell for this group in a big way.

It's not a stretch to compare "Trio" to what it must have been like hearing "Kind of Blue" for the first time. What seems to be a melancholy restlessness begins to materialize as the thoughtful and deeply felt, making an imprint on memory that promises and delivers a welcome journey through moods and colorations at the start of each replayed cut. Sounds great in a car stereo and after many listenings I've found that it responds nicely to all kinds of traffic conditions. Also recommended: Tord Gustavsen Trio, "Changing Places."
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