The Gentle War

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: TRICHOTOMY
LABELS: Naim
PERFORMER: Sean Foran (piano), John Parker (percussion), Pat Marchisella (bass)
CATALOGUE NO: naimCD 156

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Trichotomy toured the UK to some acclaim last year, then went home to Australia to record this album. By the time this review appears, they’ll be about to embark on another tour, taking in six venues across England between 15-25 February.

Predictably, they have been compared with EST and The Bad Plus, but I can’t really see it myself. I’ve noticed that they’re a piano trio too, but beyond that I don’t think the comparisons are especially useful: they’re better than the Bad Plus, for one thing – subtler, suppler and at least as adventurous. (OK, three things.) All the compositions are very strong, full of character and vigour, and they are developed with considerable imagination.

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The playing is as impressive and intense on the more reflective numbers as on the rumbustious ones. This is a genuine trio, with three equally important parts, and they never put a foot or finger wrong. Barry Witherden