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If asked to name things that work well in three’s, I’d say, sides of a pyramid, rings in a circus, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria of 1492, knit one, purl two, and of course, who could forget those "Little Pigs and Blind Mice" guys.

After hearing TRI-FI, I would nominate this exciting group to membership in the "trio" fraternity. Why? Taking liberty and applying the Gestalt theory as a barometer for jazz trio music, I ask, "Is the sum of the playing greater than the individuals/members?" Take Mr. Fries’ captivating piano, weave in some melodically supportive bass from Mr. Palombi’s, sprinkle in the artistic drumming of Mr. Hall and this Judge has all the evidence needed to render a resounding verdict of "Guilty".

Welcome to "New Math" one plus one plus one is greater than three . . .

Influenced by the trio masters before them, TRI-FI builds on the tradition, infuses creative writing, fresh arranging and complimentary playing to offer us music that has to be reckoned with.

These guys take on the Jazz Trio challenge and deliver a "knock out" punch. How? They simply:

Manage the trio interaction beautifully and introduce "space" as a fourth member of the group. They deftly provide the music in an "I’ve got your back" sort of way.

Collectively incorporate dynamics like the ebb and flow of the tides to support passion and emotion.

Compose tunes that keep the listener attuned. Pay attention to hear, styling historically rooted, ballads that never lose the echo of the melody, toe tapping, happy music (watch out for the 10 bar phrases on "Gotta Give It Up" that my eight year old daughter, Payton calls a "hide and seek" song.)

TRI-FI, as a group, respects and honors the "Masters" (through the wood shedding needed to meet the high standards already set). They make music that can be enjoyed at its surface, behind the scenes for your dinner party. In addition, the serious connoisseur gets to dive into so much more and ask: What is going on here?

Thank you Matthew, Phil and Keith for stretching the music and giving us something fresh, exciting and new. Can we get "Seconds" please?

Bruce Pulver, August, 2005

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Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: TRI-FI
  • CD Title: TRI-FI
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Consolidated Artists Productions
  • Tracks: Cross Country, My Family, A Point in Time, Good Night Charlie Brown, Gotta Give It Up, James, LaFaro, Kiri Kiri, Hillary Step, Breakthrough, You Go To My Head*, Bonus Track, (code required download from www.TRI-FI.COM)
  • Musicians: Matthew Fries, Piano, Phil Palombi, Bass, Keith Hall, Drums, Special Guest, Curtis Stigers, Vocals*
  • Rating: Four Stars
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