The Odd Trio: Lo-Fi Hi-Jump Review

Although the title cut from The Odd Trio's debut packs a viciously funky wallop, the surrounding tracks also cover a varied topography of tight, avant-garde compositions alongside liberating improvisations.  On the whole, Lo-Fi Hi-Jump is an essential jazz fusion tasting menu from a group whose work has only just begun to ripen.
listen to it all right...over...here.

"Do What Now" features the three classically trained musicians on their tippy toes, reaching for the fruits of guitarist Brian Smith's songwriting labors.  As a member of the Georgia Guitar Quartet, and now a new psyche-chamber ensemble called Revien, Smith deliberately leaps between tricky syncopation with saxophonist Marc Gilley (the HEAP) and alternatingly liquid yet sometimes heavily-shredded metal riffs.  Drummer Todd Mueller (Arasmus Ensemble) drives the trio's evident "interest in shifting meters" deftly holding together this taut theme. 

On "Lost Man's River", The Odd Trio most closely approximates its fevered live explorations.  According to some succinct liner notes, this spontaneous track was recorded at the group's very first session, yet it already has the feel of years spent together in the discipline of jazz creation.  With an utter sense of openess, nothing is lingered upon, no single melodic phrase or rhythm drops anchor, so the entire piece rocks and meanders without ever becoming capricious.

"Indian Summer" serves up a considerable dose of Latin seasoning that underpins floating alto-sax lines from Marc Gilley, Flamenco-style classical guitar accents from Smith, and driving rimshots with shuffling pandeiro from Mueller.  On the whole, this one drums up pastels, the art-deco Miami waterfront, choppy Atlantic waves reflecting off chromed rides, at least for this reviewer.  The echoing melody contrasts brightly against one of the more understated electric guitar solos of the collection.

With a two-year anniversary on the horizon, there's no indication of letting up for The Odd Trio.  The three crafty musicians have, by now, become attuned to one another's nuanced playing, especially in live performance.  If anything, what Lo-Fi Hi-Jump tends to hold on reserve is delivered at full amplitude on stage.  Expect the recorded catalog to grow; these songs represent just one vintage from a vast cellar of highly energetic, consistently inventive artistry.

Lo-Fi Hi-Jump ~ listen and buy the debut release from The Odd Trio
The Odd Trio ~ the official band page

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