Betraying its title and catching careless observers off guard, Trio kicks off with the achingly luscious strings of the Budapest Art Orchestra hooking up with the audacious and seductive groove of drummer Jaska Lukkarinen. Soon joined by the beefy, but breathy tones of Timo Lassy's emblematic tenor and the relaxed, floating bass of Ville Herrala, the team proceeds to transport the listener into a cinematic setting of gloomy back alleys and looming danger. At times, the tension is suitably released but we remain in vintage crime thriller mode as the album twists and turns towards its closure. Aside from the superbly mouth-watering opener Foreign Routes, highlights include the whispery Sointu and the restless, aptly titled Pumping C.
It has been said that jazz was originally a very utilitarian style of music. After a fashion, Trio harkens back to that notion, yet somehow simultaneously takes it a few steps further. The seven tracks on the disc, all written by Lassy, seem to form a thematic whole and succeed in maintaining a coherent, magic mood. One can easily dance to Trio, yet one can also stop, concentrate and savor the impenetrably "Noir" atmosphere of the tunes on display.
Building consistently and faithfully on the foundation he first laid with the U-Street All Stars and the Five Corners Quintet some twenty years back, Lassy has managed to form a formidable new group well versed in the tradition of the genre. Nevertheless, the true wizard on Trio is guitarist/composer Marzi Nyman. His wondrous and stylish string arrangements fit the music to a tee and provide that certain "je ne sais quoi" which elevates Trio among Lassy's finest releases so far.
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