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A jazz trio is a group of three jazz musicians, often a piano trio comprising a pianist, a double bass player and a drummer. The pianist is usually considered the leader of these trios, and trios are usually named after their pianist. Famous examples include the Bill Evans Trio with Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums; and the Vince Guaraldi trio, featuring Fred Marshall and Jerry Granelli.
Nat King Cole formed a piano-guitar-bass trio in 1937 when he relocated to Los Angeles. This format was also used by Art Tatum, Lennie Tristano, Ahmad Jamal, Vince Guaraldi, and Oscar Peterson. Tristano, Jamal, Guaraldi, and Peterson all later led trios with the traditional format of piano, bass, and drums.
Another fairly common variant is the organ trio, comprising electric organ (typically a Hammond B-3), drums, and usually electric guitar. The bassist is excluded, and the organist instead plays the bassline with his or her left hand (on a keyboard) or their feet (on the bass pedalboard). Organists Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff and guitarists Grant Green and Wes Montgomery are among the musicians who have worked in this format. The original line-up of the Tony Williams Lifetime featured Williams (drums); John McLaughlin (guitar); and Larry Young (organ).
Some jazz trios include:
The American group Medeski Martin & Wood offers an organ trio variation whereby the guitarist is replaced by a bassist (Chris Wood).
As early as 1935, Benny Goodman recorded in a trio format, featuring himself (clarinet), Teddy Wilson (piano) and Gene Krupa (drums). The Lester Young Trio of 1946 featured Young on tenor sax, Nat King Cole on piano and Buddy Rich on drums.
In 1948, pianist Herman Blount (later known as Sun Ra) briefly played in a trio with Coleman Hawkins (saxophone) and Stuff Smith (violin), dispensing with a conventional rhythm section. Jimmy Giuffre's 1958 trio also lacked bass or drums, featuring Giuffre (saxophone and clarinet), Jim Hall (guitar) and Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone. Giuffre's 1961 trio had Paul Bley on piano and Steve Swallow on bass. In 1986, Hall was involved in the Power of Three album; his fellow musicians were Wayne Shorter (saxophones) and Michel Petrucciani (piano). In the 1960s, saxophonist Anthony Braxton led a trio featuring Leroy Jenkins (violin) and Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet).
In 1949, Red Norvo formed a trio consisting of himself on vibraphone, plus guitar and bass; the best-known line-up featured Tal Farlow and a young Charles Mingus.
In 1957, saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded the album Way Out West with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne. Players who used this piano-less format in the 1960s include Ornette Coleman (with David Izenzon and Charles Moffett); Albert Ayler (with Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray) and Peter Brötzmann (with Peter Kowald and Sven-Ake Johansson).
The free jazz guitarist Derek Bailey played in a number of trios, including Joseph Holbrooke, with drummer Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars on bass, and Iskra 1903, with Barry Guy (bass) and Paul Rutherford (trombone).
The early-80s group Codona had a line-up of Don Cherry (trumpet) and two percussionists, Collin Walcott and Nana Vasconcelos.
From the 1980s, drummer Paul Motian frequently recorded in a trio with Bill Frisell (guitar) and Joe Lovano (saxophone). Saxophonist and composer John Zorn released recordings in a trio with Frisell and George Lewis on trombone.
The 1990s trio Clusone 3 comprised Michael Moore (sax/clarinet), Han Bennink (drums) and Ernst Reijseger (cello).
In the 2000s and since, three members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, trombonist George Lewis and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, have concertized and recorded together.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
William Richard Frisell is an American guitarist, composer and arranger. One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s, Frisell came to prominence as a stalwart for ECM Records. He went on to work in a variety of contexts, notably as a member of the New York City Downtown Scene where he formed a long partnership with John Zorn. He was also a longtime member of Paul Motian's groups from the early 1980s until Motian's death in 2011. Since 2000, Frisell's eclectic output as a bandleader has emphasized folk, country music, and Americana.
Ken Vandermark is an American jazz composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist.
The Lounge Lizards were an eclectic musical group founded by saxophonist John Lurie and his brother, pianist Evan Lurie, in 1978. Initially known for their ironic, tongue-in-cheek take on jazz, The Lounge Lizards eventually became a showcase for John Lurie's sophisticated compositions straddling jazz and many other genres. They were active until about 1998 with the Lurie brothers as the only constant members, though many leading New York City based musicians were members of the group.
A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band that provides the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band. The rhythm section is often contrasted with the roles of other musicians in the band, such as the lead guitarist or lead vocals whose primary job is to carry the melody.
Leon Konitz was an American composer and alto saxophonist.
Joshua Redman is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Hyman Paul Bley, CM was a Canadian pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s as well as his innovations and influence on trio playing and his early live performance on the Moog and Arp audio synthesizers. Bley was a long-time resident of the United States. His music has been described by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times as "deeply original and aesthetically aggressive". Bley's prolific output includes influential recordings from the 1950s through to his solo piano records of the 2000s.
Stephen Paul Motian was an American jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer. Motian played an important role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties.
An organ trio is a form of jazz ensemble consisting of three musicians; a Hammond organ player, a drummer, and either a jazz guitarist or a saxophone player. In some cases the saxophonist will join a trio which consists of an organist, guitarist, and drummer, making it a quartet. Organ trios were a popular type of jazz ensemble for club and bar settings in the 1950s and 1960s, performing a blues-based style of jazz that incorporated elements of R&B. The organ trio format was characterized by long improvised solos and an exploration of different musical "moods".
News for Lulu is an album of hard bop compositions performed by saxophonist John Zorn, trombonist George Lewis and guitarist Bill Frisell.
Monk in Motian is the first album by Paul Motian to be released on the German JMT label. It was released in 1988 and features ten compositions by Thelonious Monk performed by Motian with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. Geri Allen and Dewey Redman make guest appearances. The album was reissued in 2002 on the Winter & Winter label.
Ellis in Wonderland is the debut album by jazz guitarist Herb Ellis, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson trio, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, and saxophonists Charlie Mariano and Jimmy Giuffre.
This is a timeline documenting events of Jazz in the year 1956.
Danish jazz dates back to 1923 when Valdemar Eiberg formed a jazz orchestra and recorded what are thought to be the first Danish jazz records in August 1924. However, jazz in Denmark is typically first dated to 1925, when bandleader Sam Wooding toured in Copenhagen with an orchestra. This was the first time most Danes had heard jazz music. Some prominent early Danish jazz musicians include Erik Tuxen who formed a jazz band and was later named conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bernhard Christensen, an art music composer who incorporated jazz elements into his pieces, and Sven Møller Kristensen, who was the lyricist for many of Bernhard Christensen's pieces and who wrote a book on jazz theory in Danish.
The Paul Bley Quartet is an album by Canadian jazz pianist Paul Bley recorded in 1987 and released on the ECM label.
Chivas Jazz Festival was a jazz festival held annually from 2000 to 2005 in Brazil, known for high-quality stricto sensu jazz. It was one of two annual jazz festivals in Brazil when it was launched, and for some time was the only such festival. It featured many well-known international jazz musicians, and was known for its insistence on true jazz, avoiding other forms of popular music. In 2005 a change in sponsorship led to a change in name to the Playboy Jazz Festival Brasil.
Live at Birdland is an album by saxophonist Lee Konitz, with pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian.
A Life Between is the second studio album by saxophonist and composer Chase Baird. It features pianist Brad Mehldau, guitarist Nir Felder, bassist Dan Chmielinski and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Extensive liner notes, outlining both Baird's personal and musical history, were authored by Ethan Kogan.
Jazz Casual: Paul Winter/Bola Sete and Vince Guaraldi is a live performance album featuring performances by saxophonist Paul Winter, guitarist Bola Sete and pianist Vince Guaraldi, released in 2001 by Koch Jazz. The release contains two separate episodes of Jazz Casual that aired in March and September of 1963.