The Art of the… Trioscapes by Allee Futterer – At risk of making “too bold” of a statement, I’m going to say that today’s contemporary music is lacking. Though some may say in musicianship, technicality, nuances, the art of a ballad, and so on and so forth, I think that what’s really missing is the ‘greats’ and the innovators. Growing up we all had idols, someone we wanted to play like, and someone who was untouchable; jazz had Bird and Trane and rock has legends like Jimmy Page and Van Halen yet there are very few of these forward thinking cats now. If the band Between the Buried and Me rings a bell, as a bass player that should be synonymous with their bassist and songwriter Dan Briggs.
When I first started playing bass he was one of my idols and one of the first people I transcribed, but as he’s developed I had a greater respect for him as an artist and as one of the greats of our generation. His cult following would pass anything he did as exceptional but his new baby Trioscapes is fascinating and progressive in all respects.
The name Trioscapes is derived from the fact that it is a standard sax trio set up with Walter Fancourt on tenor sax, Dan Briggs on bass and Matt Lynch on drums. However though one could argue that they are playing fusion I will liberally argue that they are in fact just making beautiful music that breathes like jazz and rocks like metal. From melodic groove to shred sax solo to heavy breakdown they are really redefining what it means to play in a genre. In the days of Mahavisnu Orchestra and Weather Report we got used to the bass doing “what it wasn’t supposed to” and shred influenced guitar playing being paired with sax. In Trioscapes the bass is really doing “what it’s not supposed to”- using an effects board during most songs; Dan has a track of bass looping as an ostinato and then layers so far as to take Hendrix style guitar solos on bass, over himself. From that comes some of the most beautiful melodies created and obvious liberation of all the musicians.
While this all could sound overwhelming and loud, it isn’t out for the sake of being out. It seems that the music tells a story and has some greater significance. Much like a Between the Buried and Me album, Trioscapes music has a theme, a plot, a development, a climax, and a resolution, as any good story should. This stuff is out, and definitely not for the faint of heart but if you are willing to give it your time I strongly think you will be hooked. Their album Separate Realities is available on iTunes and the link below!
Visit online: MetalBlade.com/trioscapes