(Project Trio Facebook Page)
Greg Pattillo on Flute
Eric Stephenson on Cello
Peter Seymour on Bass
Mark Gurarie on Vocals
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 30, 2014
This CD is a selection of compositions and performances by Project Trio, whose members are Greg Pattillo on flute, Eric Stephenson on cello, and Peter Seymour on bass. Mark Gurarie appears on spoken vocals, on one of the tracks. All compositions are by Project Trio, except those on two tracks, one by Dave Brubeck and one by Guns n’ Roses, both reviewed below. The music evokes passages from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, and new age. It’s a contemporary mélange, and quite engrossing. There are no electric instruments, no drums or piano, so the flute-cello-bass interpretations are quite pure and unique.
#3 – Fast - Composed by Project Trio. This piece has the musical imagery of a racing train, with Greg Pattillo’s flute creating sharp whistling and squeaking effects. Both cello and bass have solos and duos, with deeply merging strings adding depth and texture to the repetitive phrases. The piece becomes hypnotic and hyper, building in momentum and volume.
#4 – Blue Rondo a la Turk - Composed by Dave Brubeck. This is a great interpretation of a favorite work of a favorite composer. It’s been heard so many times in the original form, that this new take is intriguing. The flute, for a while, plays the traditional theme, while Eric Stephenson on cello and Peter Seymour on bass use their bows to expand a center improvisational riff. The total result is exuberant. The piece ends with all three instruments in vibrating trills.
#8 – Grass - Composed by Project Trio. This piece reminds me of the bluegrass concerts I’ve heard in Vermont, frenetic and feverish. The strings do most of the work, without slowing down or hardly a pause, and with the flute frolicking up and down this tuneful jig. This music is for listeners, even those who get up and move, of all ages.
#10 – Sweet Child of Mine - Composed by Guns n’ Roses. This piece has solos all around, with each member of the trio showing off some impressive talent. The backup musicians keep it soft, this time around, to feature each other in showcased sound. One could assume that the trio plays this music differently on each take, with so much opportunity for blended improvisation. It’s pleasurable listening.