Trichotomy: The Gentle War

~ Thursday, 24 February 2011
The Gentle War is the fourth album from Australia’s finest contemporary jazz trio, Trichotomy. It’s a bright, entertaining and fun album with fantastic songs, imaginative arrangements and all from just piano, drums and double bass.

We start very brightly with Chase and a first solo for bassist Pat Marchisella. The song itself evokes the vibe and feel of Lalo Schifrin and Dave Brubeck jamming. It returns to the infectious hook of main man Sean Foran’s piano. Then things pick up the pace and we move seamlessly into the excellent Wrestle.

On Sync it’s drummer John Parker’s chance to shine with a dexterity and quickness of hand but also an excellent ear for light and shade. There’s a constant changing of motif and tempo but their musicianship and fluency makes it seem effortless. The first section on Cute, before it treads into more dramatic but still entertaining territory, is brilliant. This, along with many sections of this album, could be the incidental music of my namesake’s show Charlie Brown.

A minor detail and of course only my opinion but I felt it was somewhat out of place and self indulgent for such a positive album like The Gentle War to go out with the 7 mins and 19 secs of the melancholic Not According To Plan. Though excellently executed, I would’ve moved this song to the middle and taken either Chase or Wrestle from the opening, to close out the album in a more upbeat way.

This is a bright, tight, contemporary sounding album. One that should thrill current fans and definitely endear legions of new ones. I’d love to hear them on a cool contemporary film soundtrack, their ability to switch tempo and groove and their inventiveness would be a perfect fit.

[][][][] (4/5)

Review by Charlie Brown