Trio S is a trio led by Doug Wieselman on clarinets and guitar, with 'cellist Jane Scarpantoni and drummer Kenny Wollesen. The compositions are by Wieselman with reference to melodies he has heard in the natural world, using live looping and improvisation.
"It's three of my favorite musicians, and the music is incandescent"
Doug Wieselman - is co-leader of Kamikaze Ground Crew - (2 cds on New World Records and 2 cds on Koch Jazz). He played as guitarist and clarinetist with John Lurie's Lounge Lizards from 1996 to 1999, and has recorded with Lou Reed,Tricky,Victoria Williams, Robin Holcomb,Wayne Horvitz , Anthony Coleman and Sue Garner, among others. He has written for theatre in collaboration with director Robert Woodruff and The Flying Karamazov Brothers as well for dance with choreographers Jerome Robbins and Paul Taylor. "... (he) makes music you can see" - Village Voice.
Jane Scarpantoni - has played with the Lounge Lizards form 1990 to 1999. She has appeared on many recordings as 'cellist and/or string arranger for many artists including Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant, Tricky,Sparklehorse and Lou Reed who she is currently working with.
Kenny Wollesen - is currently playing with Bill Frisell and Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob, as well as John Zorn's Electric Masada. He has recorded with Tom Waits, Sean Lennon, Norah Jones and many others.
"... the group's beautifully languid performances evoke their subject remarkably well...the playing here is gently brilliant, with melodies hinted at rather than trumpeted...
This music can work its way into your subconscious to the point where you almost forget you're listening to it."
Dave Mandl, Wire Magazine
Complete Wire review:
Wire - August 2003
Trio S -
by Dave Mandl
Between them, clarinettist Doug Wieselman, 'cellist Jane Scarpantoni and drummer Kenny Wollesen have played with nearly everyone who has set foot on a New York stage in the last ten years. But while it would be hard to predict exactly what a collaboration between these protean session musicians might sound like - their credits include Ellery Eskelin, John Zorn, The Kamikaze Ground Crew, Patti Smith and the Beastie Boys - the self-titled debut from this trio still comes as a surprise. The disc is a collection of low key sound paintings about water composed by bandleader Wieselman.
Unlike say, Charles Hayward's many water - themed songs, which conjure up images of groaning decks and stormy nighttime seas, the music of Trio S - as the cool blue washes of the cover watercolour suggest - is the very image of placidity. According to Wieselman, the predominantly accoustic, instrumental pieces "come from perceived melodies form water sources", a phenonmenon that " is barely audible but can be heard undere th right circumstances". Accordingly, most of the music was inspired by the "melodies" of specific bodies of water: a beach off Majorca, the Kamogawa river in Kyoto, the confluence of two streams in Washington state.
Whether you've been to these particular places or not the group's beautifully languid performances evoke their subject remakably well. And, as with most good sound paintings, the music tends to cohere as an indivisible thing that's haard to think of as a 'performance'. Picking out the sounds of individual instruments is almost beside the point. Nevertheless, the playing here is gently brilliant, with melodies hinted at rather than trumpeted, and development moving at a flowing, leisurely pace.
Metallics are used sparingly , with Wollesen generally emplaying hand-percussion and shakers rather than trap drums, and soft mallets rather than drumsticks. With typical modesty, the major 'work' of the collection, the eight - movement composition "Anthony's River" (based on a simple melodic fragment that came to Wieselman in a dream) clocks in at just under ten minutes. This music can work its way into your subconscious to the point where you almost forget you're listening to it.