trio m at dizzy's club coca cola, Nyc , mar 30

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

Trio M, a pliable collective co-led by pianist Myra Melford, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Matt Wilson, made an appearance at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in the heart of New York City on March 30th to perform a repertoire of old and new material. The group is active since 2006 and has plans to record their third album of originals very soon, which will follow up the ones already out there: Big Picture (2007) and Guest House (2013). Since all three bandleaders contribute with their own compositions in an equal share, the outcome is a compound of different ideas, tones, atmospheres, and rhythms served up with a forward-thinking attitude.

They opened the show with “Al”, a dedication from Wilson to the late avant-garde saxophonist Albert Ayler, in which we could sense a thrilling sense of looseness. Despite rhythmically broken, the tune promulgates a romantic side, especially created through Melford’s melodious-yet-intense attacks and well supported by the playful interaction between Dresser and Wilson.

Whether drawing bright harmonics, propagating arco sweeps, or simply plucking the strings, Dresser reveals a deep, full-bodied sound that captivates unconditionally. This was particularly felt in his tune “Kind of Nine”, a groovy and breathable piece that carries a blues feel in its core and flows with a slow 3/4 time signature. Melford contributed with vigorous piano trills and block chords, techniques she resorted to again in her provocative composition entitled “The Promised Land”. Boasting a remarkable synchronization and rock-ish pulse, the trio gave a lesson about improvisational intelligence. Notwithstanding, it was the pianist who called everyone’s attention by hitting the instrument's keys with her fists. The act itself may appear blunt, but the melodic lines came out easy on the ear.

At this point, Matt Wilson stepped forward with a mic in his hand to spoke on behalf of the band, introducing “Hope (For the Cause)”, a touching song he wrote for a benefit concert organized by Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Having reserved the new material for last, the band started to probe the three-way communication channel established in Dresser’s “M”, an avant-garde excursion adorned with hectic swinging sections. In addition to Melford’s superior solo, Wilson couldn’t have been clearer during his individual drumming statement, receiving a few words of encouragement from the audience.

After the latter has joked about the possible titles for the next recording (“M perhaps, easy to remember and easy for folks to spell”), it was time for him to introduce “Sonny and Cher”, a folk-influenced composition inspired by the 70s popular variety show of the same name. Besides rhythmically daring, it featured impactful solo moments by the threesome.
In contrast, Melford’s “Montevideo”, a tune previously recorded in duo with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and suffused with piano rapid runs over bass-drums entanglements, brought exotic pulses and flavors into the crowded venue, concluding a memorable concert that was capable of stimulating not only our ears, but also our intellect.
Taking into account the inventiveness, generosity, and musical cohesion exhibited by the Trio M during this performance, I can only imagine positive vibes popping out of their upcoming record.