AMN Reviews: Brian Groder Trio – Luminous Arcs [Latham Records]

One of the traditional attractions of the pianoless jazz trio is the room it allows for harmonic and melodic inventiveness, absent a chording instrument. The Brian Groder Trio, a trio of trumpet/flugelhorn, double bass, and drums, is no traditional jazz trio, but it does take advantage of the format in ways that both recall and go beyond the harmonic freedom of other pianoless trios.

Luminous Arcs is the third release for the group, which in addition to Groder includes double bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jay Rosen. Their experience together tells, as the tightly integrated playing on display on all eleven tracks gives evidence of a well-developed chemistry. Groder and Bisio work particularly well together and provide fine contrapuntal playing on Spanglin, on the free-fugue introduction to the moody ballad Until Eyes Met, and throughout Smoored. On Bonds of Now, a duet for trumpet and drums, Rosen’s relentless, free-pulse drumming coils tautly around Groder’s line until Groder drops out to let Rosen finish alone. Bisio gets a brief solo piece with Pirr, which balances on strummed chords and tart harmonies.

Adding to the album’s audio pleasure is the verbal pleasure of the vivid imagery and wryly kaleidoscopic observations of poet Randee Silv’s Wordslabs, which serve as an appropriate liner note to this ultimately poetic music.

Daniel Barbiero

Stephen Gauci Release and Shows

From Stephen Gauci:

Ensemble name: “Money Jungle”

Ensemble members:

Stephen Gauci- tenor saxophone
Kenny Wessel- guitar
Michael Bisio– bass
Jeremy Carlstedt- drums


“Money Jungle” is a quartet focusing on interpretations of Thelonious Monk compositions. The collaboration between Stephen Gauci (tenor saxophone), Ornette Colman “Prime Time” alumnus Kenny Wessel (guitar), Michael Bisio (bass), and Jeremy Carlstedt (drums) steers the music in a decidedly modern direction with elements of both post and free-bop in the mix, and all members contributing arrangements. The result is hard-swinging, contemporary, thoughtful re-workings of the music of the great master.

Date: Thursday April 23rd 7pm (one set)
Venue: Fat Cat
75 Christopher Street at 7th ave
Cover: $3

Date: Saturday May 23rd 6pm to 8:30 (two sets)
Venue: Puppets Jazz Bar
481 5th avenue, Park Slope Brooklyn
Cover: $6

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