Since 2015, TRIchrO has been performing original, contemporaly and modern jazz throughout the greater Boston and New England area at venues such as Ryles Jazz Club, Lilypad, Longwood Tower Concert Series, Public Library of Brookline and Baby Grand Jazz Concert Series at Hartford Public Library. TRIchrO consists of Eriko Yamaki Mercure（八巻マキュアー絵里子） -piano and composition, Mark Fairweather – Drums and Dave Mercure – Bass.
‘Gordon Marshal The Flash Boston’
TRICRHO – LILY PAD – 11/5/17
Eriko Yamaki Mercure is an elegantly eclectic pianist, drawing from classical studies in Tokyo, and jazz at Berklee College of Music. She has a sense of architecture, and play, so her music is a fun, slowly moving series of structures with a quick pace. All the songs she plays are originals, and they have romance and pathos, and they are lively, with forays into far and near places. She is in touch with the whole jazz palette. She is always unexpected, and always rewarding.
“Friends From Afar” starts with a rubato solo, with touches of Schubert, then abruptly goes into heavy swing, with drummer Mark Fairweather dropping rapid, syncopated bombs. Then it’s a plane of relaxed tempo pastel trio interplay, with strong, subtle backing from electric bassist Dave Mercure, who bows and draws his notes out long, to presage a great crescendo from Yamaki Mercure, which ends the song.
Oboist Joel Bard, and clarinetist Stephanie Clark, join the trio for their next number, “Morningside Heights.” The winds play a baroque duet before the trio comes in with a Latin beat. Here we get to see Yamaki Mercure as an accompanist, as she patiently accents the melodious, lyrical harmonies of clarinet and oboe, then adds a peppery spice to Mercure’s funky stops on bass. Her solo is delightful. Complex but limpid, sparkling, glistening.
“Get Well” is s gentle ballad, with jumps into racy interplay, and slips into reflective, soft explorations of mood. “Red Sox”, which the trio has played before, goes well with the winds, which work in different direction than the song, which has a modern but extroverted feel, complex chord structures with stride-like licks. But Clark on clarinet shifts her tone, giving it a brassy feel, and Bard’s oboe is very beautiful, sustaining the liquid sonorities of the conservatory.
It’s the trio by itself on “9 O’clock,” which has the intricate, mechanical feel of the inner workings of a clock. The tempo undulates, as usual, so it is never easy to pinpoint exactly the tone of any of the ensemble’s songs. They can have a sense of rush, exuberance, humor, as this one does, all at once. But Yamaki Mercure always goes very deep in her playing, so there is always the sense of reaching an inner core, and a drive.
“Sometime” is another number with a Latin feel, this one very dark and romantic, with stretches of open sky which the winds evoke. There are touches of all phases of jazz in this one, as in all of the songs, and it has the feel of going many places at once, like a Miro.
TRIchrO July 10th 2016 @ Lilypad – Cambridge
The first number I hear is a waltz, steady, with bright tones from Eriko Mercure on piano, alternating with straight-out funk from Dave Mercure on electric bass, and Mark Fairweather, on drums, switching between heavy thuds, and soft cymbal sweeps. The tone lightens, with Eriko doing soft swing. The tempo keeps changing. It can get elegant and romantic, with the focus on Eriko, her gentle glissandi, sharp chord blocks, contemplative flights up and down the registers. Then there are bluesy aftertastes.
The next number is “Gravity”. It is very geometrical. Circles and squares and jagged lines. Tension builds, and it is a rolling modal workout. Then again it is delicate, ornate, just like Chopin. Eriko plays alone, and she’s everywhere, back to the blues, segueing into Beethoven-like sonata, as the bass breaks in again, likewise alone, but rocking with harmonics and overtones. Fairweather takes his solo, with complex Latin infusions, but solid and syncopated and swinging. The three come together again with fitful bursts and sparks, one flame shooting out of another like a Roman candle. The end is sweet and grand.
There is a serene, serious logic to this music. It’s almost like you are hearing Eriko’s thought work, as if she were writing an essay, stuck on knotty quandaries, working around them into exuberant solutions. It is always stopping and starting, moving from one place to another, and back, with a solid foundation.
She is also playful, like a child playing with blocks, building imaginary villages. Her sources are many, and you are struck by myriad, haunting and enchanting, scenes as you stroll through them. But she keeps playing, rearranging the blocks, so it is always a changing village you are in even within one song.
TRIchrO has stop-on-a-dime rhythms, aromatic warmth, stride and swing, rushes of good energy. Their final number, “Friends From Afar”, is one such rush, where Eriko has the crystal effervescence of Cedar Walton, building one chord on top on another, with a racing pace. You never know where the trio will take you, but you always know where you are.