NYC or other, these guys play that way and have all travelled to hear those modern styles. We are lucky to have such a trio as this, here, in Canberra, down the track from studies here and abroad, playing with a hugely satisfying modern complexity. It was Brendan's trio, so his part first: the bassist leads. This is fast, fluent, expressive playing through solos and accompaniment. Playing with time, busy across the fingerboard, machine gun lines at times, but also melodic, sometimes spelling out the melody plainly enough, perhaps with altered notes, or exploring both melody and harmonic substitutions with sequences that move through various keys but talk back to the initiating phrase. Rich and busy playing and absolutely convincing. Solid and fat. And with this, Victor on guitar, again rich with chordal accompaniment, often enough chordal solos, twisting the harmony for new paths and new visions of a tune. That contemporary tone: a batch of effects at his feet, of course, but not too obvious, perhaps middy, but clear and bell-like, strongly present but strangely unintrusive and always guiding to new directions. I hear NYC clubs in his playing. And Rhys on drums, quieter in this context of firmly amplified strings, filling often unobtrusively, perhaps taking solos, cymbals clear and present, toms filling and bouncing amongst it all, kick underlying this all. This was the most complex and satisfying set - sometimes standards, sometimes jazz tunes - flamboyant or complex or extravagant (the bass solos were, often enough!). Always purposeful and telling modern stories in modern idioms. Their time overseas was actually Indiana, NYC and Canada. There are echoes here, strong and imbibed. We are lucky to hear this, here, live, in the flesh. Get it while you can. A blast.
Brendan Keller-Tuberg (bass) led a trio with Victor Rufus (guitar) and Rhys Lintern (drums) at Molly.