Early last year we marveled at an exciting young piano trio out of Australia that compels because as embraceable as their music might be, they didn’t exactly conform to the popular notion of how a jazz piano trio is supposed to perform. The Casey Golden Trio made this LP Outliers that lived up to the title but it was subversion with subtlety.
Though running less than twenty-five minutes, the upcoming Miniature EP has Casey Golden and his rhythm section of Bill Williams (bass) and Ed Rodrigues (drums) trying out new ideas not found on Outliers. Mainly, Golden tries his hand at extended composition and the EP is actually a single song broken up into three parts, plus a brief interlude between Part II and III. Further, some overdubs are made (I can make out an occasional guitar or synth played in single notes), but not to worry, those are minimal enough as to not disturb the basic trio vibe.
From modest beginnings, “Part I” takes shape, a melody that draws from classical and contemporary rock as much as it is informed by jazz, and indeed it follows a conventional song structure for a while. Eventually, Golden takes the song down side roads that run parallel to the primary motif and all three play with vigor, not content to dispassionately follow the score. The section wraps up with some funky grooving constructed around Golden’s dense, repeating figure.
A twinkling of the keys on the right side of the piano signals the start of the second part, reciprocated by Williams’ bass remark in the middle of which he changes the melody with the launch of a new figure and the other two re-enter to chew on it for a while. But true to the through-composed concept, they move away from that into other, connected figures.
After an interlude where Golden performs a circular motif, another similar, hypnotic pattern is introduced and Rodrigues gooses up the song with a rapid drum ‘n’ bass beat that conforms to it perfectly. Matter of fact, his circuitous rhythms are tightly bound to the adventurous harmony throughout this section.
EP’s are usually something an artist might put out to fill a void until a proper album is ready, but there’s nothing half-baked or transitory about Miniature. If anything, this affirms the Casey Golden Trio’s commitment to shake things up a bit with fresh approaches. The E.S.T. from Down Under? It’s sounding more like they are.
Miniature will be available for sale on July 15, 2106 on Bandcamp, iTunes and CD Baby.