Garage a Trois pulled into Portland last night prepared to showcase songs from their new album, Power Patriot, and to win over fans not yet accustom to the band’s new lineup (Charlie Hunter left Garage to focus on his own band and his family in 2007).
After playing shows with Robert Walter and John Medeski, the group finally melded with keyboard impresario, Marco Benevento. By all accounts the music is heavier now, but I didn’t hear anyone at Doug Fir Lounge last night complain. By my estimate Garage played in an inspired performance. I know I visited some intergalactic destinations I hadn’t seen in awhile on the strength of the band’s contemporary improv.
Here’s what JamBase is saying about the new lineup:
While I immensely enjoyed and appreciated the Garage A Trois from the first half of this decade, I honestly feel this lineup and sound is what Garage A Trois was meant to be and what will take them to the next level. While the former Garage A Trois’ sound felt more rooted in cross-cultural, past musical traditions, the new sound feels current and even futuristic.
Jambands.com puts it this way:
Only these four musicians—in their perfect storm of cosmic improv energy—could manage to make dark industrial jazz sound lighthearted (“Rescue Spreaders”) and conjure perfectly danceable freakout swing (“Fragile”), and that’s just the first two tracks of Power Patriot.
Glide Magazine also offers a review of the new record.
In an interesting twist of fate, Charlie Hunter played Mississippi Studios last night, just a few miles away from the East Burnside basement where his former cohorts were reaching for the outer limits.