ARC Trio (Rick Helzer – piano, Justin Grinnell – bass, Nathan Hubbard – drums) makes its recording debut with Triptych Mirror, an album featuring eight original compositions and an extended improvisation. Developed over a year of intense rehearsals and performances, the music of Triptych Mirror combines the harmonic language and rhythmic cadences of jazz with more open sonic territories. Unified by the use of open improvisation, each member of the trio contributes original pieces that cover a spectrum of compositional approaches: from Helzer's intense harmonic language to Grinnell's catchy melodic writing and Hubbard's concerns for overall form and momentum. These are combined with impressive performances by the trio that extend traditional jazz vocabularies and incorporate various experimental performance practices. Helzer's subtle use of the interior of the piano, Hubbard's extended percussion, and Grinnell's wide sonic vocabulary catalyze sensitive interplay into fiery dialog. Ranging from playful free swing to melancholic ballads, adventurous improvising to burning solos, Triptych Mirror gives a kaleidoscopic and innovative look at the piano trio tradition.
What makes this CD so compelling is its sheer musicality: when it’s textural, it paints with luminous colours and timbres; when it’s rhythmical, it darts and weaves; when it’s lyrical, it sings.
The music clearly steps beyond the usual definitions of modern jazz and sometimes leads into areas where only the unbiased idea reigns. No definitions, just plain creativity.
-Fred Wheeler - Tokafi
telepathic interplay between the group's members
-George Varga, San Diego Union Tribune
lucid, crystalline playing.....a blend that feels perfectly natural and free and ever evolving
-One Final Note