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Trichotomy s compelling, hugely dynamic trio music draws on the avant-rock of Radiohead, ECM minimalism and their love of improvisation in an entrancing Australian echo of the European jazz innovations of the likes of EST or Tord Gustavsen. Founded as Misinterprotato in 1999 when the three members met whilst studying at the Queensland Conservatorium, their unique sound is driven by award winning pianist Sean Foran, expansive, dynamic percussionist John Parker, and visceral double bassist Patrick Marchisella. Inspired by a diverse range of influences from Aphex Twin to Vijay Iyer, and Tortoise to The Bad Plus, Trichotomy s music combines a dense rhythmic focus with the melodic clarity of a Pat Metheny, Brad Mehldau or Stravinsky and like fellow Australians The Necks, whom they cite as an early influence, there is a remarkable attention to detail and a desire to allow ideas to develop naturally within their music. A key focus is the balance between piano/bass/drums, with the trio maintaining a free flowing three way conversation with no one dominating and all contributing integral parts. Compositions often find a fine balance between heavily notated sections then completely free improvisations.
The EST and Bad Plus connections are pretty clear in the music of this decade-old Australian trio, but the compositions of pianist Sean Foran and drummer John Parker impart a lot of character to its take on contemporary jazz fusion, and it shares with both of its major models a group ability to shift seamlessly between structures and spontaneity. Trichotomy's early enthusiasm for fellow-Australian band the Necks is also apparent in a fondness for lengthy pulsating one-note patterns and the subtle animation it injects into the most spacious and slow-moving episodes. The fast Latin pulse of the opening track, with its flowing piano lines over an intricate left-hand repeat and abruptly hushed and dreamy countermelody exploits the Bad Plus's appealing jump-cut style, as does the following slow floater with its Jarrett-like piano upsurge midway. A violin, viola and sax offer a caressing contrast over an ostinato and a snappy groove on the fourth track, as does Peter Knight's Arve Henriksen/late-Miles trumpet later on. Sometimes the band offers 21st-century updates on a bright, dancing, Chick Corea-like lyricism: sometimes a fierce improv edge deploying Patrick Marchisella's electronically distorted acoustic bass; sometimes a tumbling hard-bop piano approach but over a castanet-like chatter; sometimes plucked-strings musings. These three make the resources of the conventional piano trio go a long way. The Guardian