With an energetic stage presence and an intriguing approach to composition, it's not hard to see why the Chris Poulsen Trio has gained such a large following. The group combines funk, fusion, latin and bebop influences, resulting in an artistic and original sound. Though only an instrumental three piece, their music is full of dynamic colour and texture, engaging audiences of a wide variety.
"The Chris Poulsen Trio would have to be one of the most musically energetic and entertaining bands I have ever had the opportunity to experience live. It’s a rare thing to find musicians who aren’t afraid to explore their musical boundaries, but this is one trio who have no fear!"
Henry Seeley, Planet Shakers
The new album "Common Senses" is about youthful exploration, innocence and imagination - experiencing life through vibrant sensory perception. It combines visual art with music, and the booklet insert includes photographs of original oil paintings by Chris Poulsen corresponding to each individual tune on the album, an wholistic approach to art and expression. There are eight original tunes, and one dramatic re-interpretaion of a classic jazz standard.
In March 2004, drummer Trent Bryson-Dean sat in on a gig with a jazz band called SCAT. He was very quickly impressed with the playing of Chris Poulsen (Fender Rhodes) that day and vowed to Chris and bassist Jeremy O’Connor that he would book a gig for the trio as soon as he possibly could.
True to his word, Trent was able to secure a gig at the Brisbane Powerhouse five months later in August. (With great wisdom he chose to name the group Chris Poulsen Trio rather than name the group after himself – a mere drummer!) The gig proved to be a great success, was recorded by the band and a four track ep of the show was released for sale at gigs. “I don’t know if the guys believed me when I said that I would book us a gig, but nevertheless we were all very excited by the obvious chemistry and interplay that was going on! We knew that we had become a band and that we had started to play the music that was closest to each of our hearts.”
It just so happened that a gentleman from another venue was at the Powerhouse gig that night and in the coming weeks he contacted the trio about further gigs. Since then CP3 have been playing regularly at the Press club, Ric’s Bar and the Bowery. During this time the trio had written an album worth of original tunes which they recorded in February 2005 and released as their full-length debut entitled, ‘Tang!’ in mid-March. This year has seen them release their second full-length album "Common Senses". The instrumental group has also performed at the Queensland Music Festival, Valley Jazz festival, the Australian Gospel Music festival, and Parachute Festival in New Zealand, and are excited about the future – whatever it may hold!
Meet the Band…
Chris Poulsen (Fender Rhodes): Coming from a musical family, Chris has always been interested in jazz, but studied classical music until he reached his mid-teens when he began to have private lessons from nationally renowned pianist, Steve Newcomb. Chris sites Herbie Hancock and Brad Meldhau as his main ivory influences but also says, “I really love listening to horn players, in particular, Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard.” Chris also gains inspiration from visual, abstract art and “the relations of colour to musical tone.” He particularly enjoys the work of Russian abstract artist, Wassilly Kandisnsky. Until recently, Chris was an interior designer before giving up his job to pursue his passion for music full-time. He sees both art and music as his way of giving glory to God, the ultimate Creator.
Jeremy O’Connor (acoustic and electric basses): With a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Bass, Jeremy studied under heavy weights, Helen Russell and Jon Diamond. He has been playing on the Brisbane scene for over six years with bands such as Hot Mambo, SCAT and Honey. Jeremy has also toured internationally with the Ten Tenors, and Andrew Ironside. He sites Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci and Marcus Miller as his predominant bass playing influences. Jeremy also says, “My main source of inspiration comes from my faith in God, my family and church family at Citipointe Christian Outreach Centre.”
Trent Bryson-Dean (drums): “I will be ever grateful for a mum who saw my incessant tapping as my wanting to play drums and not violin!” remarks Trent, drummer for CP3. Never having studied formally, Trent has always considered himself a student of music. With influences as diverse as Chick Corea, John Scofiled and Keith Jarrett through to Led Zeppelin, Living Colour and the Dave Matthews Band, Trent loves it all. “My favourite drummers are Vinnie Colaiuta, Jack Dejohnette, Bill Stewart, Zach Danziger and Dennis Chambers to name but a few!” Having played as a subbing drummer throughout Brisbane for the last five years, Trent believes he has found his ‘musical home’ with CP3. Trent also works for a Christian organisation called Silky Oaks Children’s Haven as a house parent/youth worker looking after young boys/men in interim foster care.