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Trichotomy at Stratford Jazz, The Chapel, No.1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford upon Avon 31/01/2010

by Ian Mann

February 03, 2010


Ian Mann admires the music of Trichotomy and the work of Stratford Jazz

“Variations” the first international release by the Australian piano trio Trichotomy has proved to be one of the best new releases I’ve has the pleasure to review on the site this year.
With this in mind I was particularly keen to see them on their short British tour and found that this date in Stratford Upon Avon best fitted in with my other commitments.

This was my first visit to Stratford Jazz and I was impressed with their new venue upstairs in a converted chapel on the edge of the town centre. Roy Stevens and his hard working team have kept jazz alive in Stratford for many years recently moving to No.1 after a long tenure at The White Swan. Real ale from the local Purity brewery and a free bowl of chips for each table during the interval made for a pleasant atmosphere and there were just sufficient customers to give the musicians the impetus they needed to produce two enjoyable sets.

Stratford Jazz, like many other societies struggles to keep it’s head above water in these straitened times and relies heavily on an interval raffle to keep things going. I went to this gig as a punter so won’t go into my usual detail save to say that Trichotomy played a good selection of tunes from “Variations” including “Island Of The Sun”, “At The Right Moment” and “Branching Out” by pianist Sean Foran and “Start”, “Please” and “Variations On A Bad Day” from drummer John Parker. The album itself is reviewed in detail elsewhere on this site.

Both Foran and Parker introduced new tunes that are due to appear on Trichotomy’s next album which is due to be recorded later this year. Foran’s “Blues For A Space” was written in honour of his time as a student in Leeds where he hung out with most of the LIMA (Leeds Improvised Music Association) crew including bassist Dave Kane and guitarist Chris Sharkey (Acoustic Ladyland, Trio VD). Parker’s playful “Cute” was written for his young son. Both these tunes plus one or two others were well up to standard and the next album should also be well worth hearing.

Like the John Turville concert in Shrewsbury that I covered recently things were slightly spoiled by the lack of a proper piano and Foran had to use an electric. Nevertheless Trichotomy’s abilities still communicated themselves to an audience not always used to such modern sounds and CD sales to an admittedly rather sparse crowd were fairly encouraging.

I spoke to the guys afterwards and all were thoroughly engaging (bassist Pat Marchisella completes the line up) and they were clearly enjoying their visit to the UK.

I’d urge you to check out Trichotomy before they go back Down Under and if you’re reading this and are based in the Midlands please support Stratford Jazz who are doing a magnificent job in challenging economic circumstances. The society runs weekly Sunday night sessions featuring local and national names across a wide range of jazz styles.

See for news and tour dates.

and for details of further events being held by Stratford Jazz.

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