Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garage a Trois Plies Its Unique Blend of Jazz-Rock on "Always Be Happy"

Garage a Trois have been around a few years. The current lineup is Marco Benevento on keys, Skerik on (what sounds like tenor) sax, Mike Dillon, vibes, and Stanton Moore behind the drums. The new one Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil (Royal Potato Family) continues them on the journey to map out their own compositional-arranged blend of instrumental jazz-rock. They are fairly adventurous in the sounds they get, and parts can get pretty electric. Other times they have a bit of a collage texture. It's all pretty firmly routed in the idea of instrumental song crafting. The vibes-keys-tenor melodic-harmonic approach gives them a readily identifiable sound.

Beyond that I must say there's a different sort of thing happening than what Marco B. gets with his trio. No one stands out from the blend in a solo-virtuoso way. It's all mix. But if you accept those parameters, the music is attractive enough. I may personally prefer Marco's trio on a certain night, but I do see the merit in this music. It's the modern day equivalent to Bill Black's Combo, the Tornados or the Ventures--and pretty spacey at times to boot. Take it if that sounds good, leave it if that doesn't rings bells with you.

It's around on vinyl or CD, or download.

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