BY RUSSELL CLEPPER
Whidbey Life Magazine contributor
Nov. 20, 2013
Trio Nouveau returns to at Ott and Murphy Winery’s Tasting Room Cabaret stage at 204 First St. in Langley at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23.
The last time they played at Ott and Murphy’s, they showcased all three guitarists who work with the band, presenting them onstage at one time along with bassist Kristi O’Donnell. Guitarist Troy Chapman, said that made them the “Trio Nouveau Quartet.”
This Saturday, make it five. The band steps out this weekend as “Trio Nouveau Quintet,” with the addition of percussionist Roger Bennet. Bennet has often performed with the group or with different members of the group in other formations, such as Billet Deux and Bahia. He brings a deep well of talent and experience to enhance the improvisational jazz guitar work of Chapman, Keith Bowers and Greg Beck.
O’Donnell believes the format in that first show provided listeners with a privileged insight into the talents and personalities of each guitarist, as well as into the rarified realm of masterful jazz interplay.
“I think the experience of the three guitarists together show the versatility and uniqueness of the different voicings,” said O’Donnell, who also serves as manager for the group.
“We wanted to showcase that again.”
The band usually performs as a trio, with O’Donnell and Bowers joined by either Beck or Chapman. Their performances feature the improvisational lead work of the guitarists, but this new variation with the drums adds another layer.
“It’s call and response,” O’Donnell said.
“You’ll hear one player come up with a lick and you’ll hear that lick again in a different voicing when the next player takes the lead. The percussion helps keep it all fluid and fresh.”
Band leader Bowers said that the evening’s show will present the band in different forms to add variety and maintain dynamic tension.
“With this ensemble we have the opportunity to showcase each of the three guitarists in multiple combinations,” he said, “from solos and duets to a full trio of guitars with rhythm section backing featuring Bennet’s conga groove.”
Ott and Murphy accepts reservations for their cabaret room shows and assures that this is wise, especially for parties of four or more. The venue’s phone number is 360-221-7131.
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