Album Review: Trichotomy – Fact Finding Mission (Naim Jazz, 2013)

BY HAYLEY GAULT

As a complete jazz novice, I was pleasantly surprised with the musical offering of Australian band, Trichotomy. The band collaborate with a range of artists and soundscapes on their new album, Fact Finding Mission, released on the 4th February by Naim Jazz. The jazz trio – comprised of a pianist, percussionist and double bassist – celebrate, on their latest release, not only their intense love of music, but the album also serves as a retrospective of a career  that has extended thirteen years; during which time two of the band members have become fathers. Pianist Sean Foran claims, ”the mood is of positivity and a sense of fun.” The album title therefore, Fact Finding Mission, could not be more appropriate, as the listener is taken on a journey of intense energy and experimentation spanning the course of the nine unique pieces.

The album starts as abruptly as it ends, a barrage of dense rhythms and slick melodies varying in pace and tone. At times there are clear sounds from only one or two instruments, beautiful and uplifting like ”Lullaby,” while at other times there is a much broader timbre; especially whilst listening to the dissonant and staccato melodies of the bizarre title piece, ”Fact Finding Mission”.

The band use a range of experimental instruments, including Chinese gongs and distorted bass, to ensure there is a real abstract and joyful tone throughout. The love the band has for their music is almost tangible.

This intriguing album can be a tad chaotic and/or sporadic, but that’s all part of its charm – when it moves into its climactic harmonies you cannot help but smile.  Fact Finding Mission is definitely an acquired taste:its experimental nature can be overwhelming; although once embraced it is  easily enjoyable, even as background music. It is a fresh, modern take on jazz.

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