This week JazzWrap will take a look at guitarists and guitar driven groups that have or will be making a difference in jazz.
Trio Schmetterling (group; fromed 2007)
Keisuke Matsuno (guitar/electronics)
Alexander Binder (bass)
Jan Roth (drums)
As discussed recently, the rise of trios on the jazz scene is quite simply--mindnumbing. It's is sometimes difficult to sift through all the good ideas being produced to find the originality. Well, I have to say in the case of the following trio there is something different for you grab hold of. Trio Schmetterling is a guitar based trio that utilizes both the sonic aspects of Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth and the best elements of recent Nordic jazz improvisers like Nils Petter Molvaer, The Thing, Supersilent, et al. Not clearly defined (which is something we at JazzWrap like allot).
The self titled debut, Trio Schmetterling (Analogsoul Records), opens with "Solaris", a dreamy and rhythmic piece that reminds me of Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine (circa Loveless). The albums is filled with mid tempo motifs that abstract yet enveloping. If anyone remembers the late 80s/90s instrumental band Pell Mell this is slightly (only slightly) similar. Further tracks like "Insel" and "Abschiedslied" contain some great drum work from Jan Roth and some nice bluesy interplay between Matsuno and Binder making for some highly enjoyable variations.
Trio Schmetterling never really take flight as you would expect from a guitar based trio. But I don't think that is their intention. This is an album of dark dense space with strong melodies pushing the listener forward. "Kinderlied" does finally take the band into some atmospheric territory taking a gentle tone in its beginning before venturing into a lovely harmonic chaos of arpeggios to close things out. Trio Schmetterling may not be a jazz band for some of you but they surely aren't a rock band for me. This is the work of a young band in progress but the progress is quite impressive.