Review: Trifecta – Fragments (2021)


Trifecta are in essence a band who create a fusion of jazz rock. They comprise bassist and songwriter Nick Beggs, keyboardist Adam Holzman and Craig Blundell on drums. The guys have performed together as part of Steven Wilson’s band and would jam together after soundchecks, forming what they referred to as “jazz club” and from these sessions the fledgling ideas for their album “Fragments” were created. The name Trifecta intrigued me so after a visit to the world wide web I discover that it means `a bet in which the person betting forecasts the first three finishers in a race in the correct order` or in urban slang “a perfect group of three; winning three times.”

The album opens with `Clean Up On Aisle Five` and the first thing that hits you is how together this band is. The number itself is quite dreamy with some stunning piano keys and synth tinges. There was a much more strolling texture about `Check Engine Light` but again it became delightfully hypnotic.

`Proto Molecule` is brief number but for some reason reminded me of Polish nu jazz DJs Skalpel. The bass really led `Auntie` along and you forget what a great bass player Nick Beggs is, here it has that Level 42 Mark King vibe although the track is more “out there”.

`Venn Diagram` has a variety of different intricate keyboard pieces that blend together. We have almost classical piano pieces fusing into more synth like offerings, all accompanied by a steady bassline and harmonious drumbeats. The oddly named `The Enigma Of Mr. Fripp` is more than likely a tribute to art come prog rock`s band King Crimson`s leader. It has a sort of quirkiness about it which is possibly the spirit of the gentlemen. Although, i`m sure a lot of us have enjoyed a charmingly warm side of him on the Sunday podcasts he does with his passionate wife.

I got really lost in `Sally Doo-Dally` which had a sense of Van Morrison`s `Moon Dance` but maybe that was just me. There was a pretty ethereal sense about `Have You Seen What The Neighbours Are Doing?` which seemed to veer away in different directions as it progressed.

Whether it was intentional or not to me there was a slight spiritual feel to `The Mute Gospel` a fairly peaceful, calming submission. The lyrics of `Pavlov`s Dog Killed Schrodinger`s Cat` “are written from the perspective of a layman trying to understand quantum mechanics…and failing” relates Nick Beggs. There`s an ingenious play on words during this illusory journey.

`Voyage Of Discovery` is a funkier composition which took me almost into another dimension as it nigh on enveloped me in sound. There was a quite repetitive perception about `Nightmare In Shining Armor` which ended up with complex keys shared towards the end.

`Dry Martini` had a strange tranquillity about it and eluded a sense of peace throughout. I felt there was a sort of jazz funk/new wave fusion around `Lie 2 Me And Take My Money` a curious but compelling listen.

The album closes out with `Hold It Like That` a relatively upbeat almost summery `feel good` tune to end on.

Jazz rock is not a genre of music that i`m familiar with but i`ve dipped in and out and taken what i`ve liked. To me I’d place Trifecta alongside bands like Return To Forever, The Crusaders, Weather Report and Herbie Hancock.

There was so much to enjoy with `Fragments` and if I had to describe it, I’d say it`s a fusion of jazz rock and an album for the more discerning jazz aficionado.

Rating 9/10

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