The Chicago free jazz scene is one of vibrancy and daring, which is one of the keys to its success and being held in high esteem by players, fans, and critics around the globe. It is also, out of neccessity, fairly incestuous. In recent years, the big-name players of the scene- Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, Rob Mazurek- have either relocated to different cities or have spent the majority of their time on the road. Those who do stay in town for extended periods often play with the same musicians in each others' bands. This lack of ego and willingness to play for the love of playing is another hallmark of the Chicago free jazz scene.
Tricolor could be considered a "supergroup" of sorts among the free jazz nuts. Consisting of bassist Tatsu Aoki (Fred Anderson, Miyumi Project), guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground Trio), and drummer David Pavkovic (Toe, Pinetop Seven), Tricolor can work a riff or a melody line into a trancelike state or build upon the riff until critical musical mass is reached.
Unlike Most free jazz groups, this is one that works a groove: you won't find much dead air on nonparticipant + milk
. Aoki plays the same role he does in his other bands, holding down the rhythm, content to lay the groundwork for the rest of the band to explore. Pavkovic is a solid drummer with keen musical instincts and an aggressive playing style. His drum rolls on "unabashed" are worth the price of the album alone. Parker can play in cool single note Grant Green style, lay on the wah-wah pedal for effect (the track "deceit"), or play ethereal ("milk).