Pascal Le Boeuf – Pascal’s Triangle (2013)

Share this:

When Pascal Le Boeuf set out to make a record with his young, dynamic trio Pascal’s Triangle, the intention was to produce an electronic-styled crossover jazz album, involving a layered recording process, programmed beats and the like. But, as Le Boeuf reveals, “I enjoyed the spontaneity of the more acoustic songs, and when I took the electronics away, the compositions all had an intimate conversational feeling.” It brought a twenty-six year old keyboardist who had already distinguished himself in the area of electronica all the way back to his jazz roots. And so, Pascal’s Triangle, the album, became a piano/standup bass/drums affair.

That was a good call on Le Boeuf’s part. A very good call.

His Triangle is a good reason why, a small collection of highly thought-of musicians in the NYC scene who like Le Boeuf, are already accomplished with their whole careers still ahead of them and have plenty of familiarity with the leader and each other. Le Boeuf knew of drummer and Oakland, CA native Justin Brown from the time Pascal grew up in nearby Santa Cruz. He and bassist Linda Oh go back from before they attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music together. Both Brown and Oh have performed in the Le Boeuf Brothers band.

There’s a lot to instantly like about Pascal’s Triangle, as Le Boeuf penned some very driving, contemporary compositions that do reference modern jazz tradition but are cast in a contemporary characteristic. Additionally, these songs are precise and to the point, always ending leaving me wanting just a tad more; unfortunately, the total running time of the album is short too, clocking in at less than 33 minutes.

Throughout this eight-song fare, the Triangle evokes many but never quite replicates anyone. So, for the minor key ballad “Song For Ben Van Gelder,” there are echoes of Bill Evans, but Le Boeuf’s mature style has a different touch, and there’s a lot of discernment in his delivery. “Revisiting A Past Self” calls to mind a Corea-style waltz, complete with bass/piano unison lines, and Oh is conjuring up Eddie Gomez in her articulate, high-register approach.

Most impressively, Pascal’s Triangle is a very together band, playing as a tight unit whether it’s combining for a bouncy syncopated shuffle on “What Your Teacher…” or creating a nice, bell-shaped flow for “Home In Strange Places” or carefully modulating like a classical orchestra on “Variations On A Mood.”

For change-ups a handful of songs move away from the trio format: “The Key” is Le Boeuf with only Brown on hand-beaten drums, and they are both able to fill in that bass gap quite capably. “Jess Holds Louise” and “Return To You” are each three minute piano solo performances.

The acoustic jazz trio album with electronica origins worked out so well, I can’t imagine it being as good in the form that was originally intended. But we’ll get to find out if it does or not: Le Boeuf plans to issue the electrified version at another time.

Pascal’s Triangle goes on Sale May 28, by Nineteen-Eight Records. Visit Pascal Le Boeuf’s website for more info.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00D8SPFVA” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000CAKIHS” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000CAEZIG” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00CEIE4SK” /]

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on,, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at
S. Victor Aaron
Share this: