Jul 25 2010


Piero Pieri


Trieste Loves Jazz is a very young festival who suddenly distinguished in its peculiar artistic choices  and for a special atmosphere that involves audience and musicians. This last aspect was well expressed by the words Rachel said soon after the first song the Trio of Oz performed last 25th of July in Trieste’s main place.  “This is the fourth time I play in this town, the second one with Mave and Omar, and I want to thank you for how much you make us feel particularly welcome!”

Feeling turns soon to music, Rachel Z. and Omar Hakim briefly introduce to the tunes: a playlist of well-chosen pop and rock songs that the Trio of Oz transform in a sort of “modern standards”.

The Trio get on the stage preceded by the great fame of Hakim and everybody in the audience are expecting the “phenomenon” who joined his name to the best music stars in the world. But very soon everybody have to change their point of view: of course Omar Hakim is wonderful, but here we are in front of a new, real, unique project. The Trio of Oz sounds as one thing! Respecting the former trio she run, Rachel Z is now more focused on piano playing (no more vocal performing diverts her from the keyboard) and this grows her music rich. Omar Hakim, though he surely doesn’t forget his virtuosity,  here seems to prefer bending his terrific skills to what the tunes actually need. Both these qualities of the two co-leaders let their music result to the audience so intense and exiting.

And what about the young Maeve Royce? Well she’s just great, fresh, propelling, fun, tightly connected to her partners. Perfectly trained, she fit the Trio of Oz like it was the simplest thing in the world.

In Trieste Bendik Hofseth also joined the Trio for the occasion. The Norwegian  saxophonist, known for his collaboration with the Steps Ahead group, enhanced the songs arrangements by Rachel and Omar adding sparing lines, with his modern approach and his very elegant sound that match the European attitude with the afro-american tradition.

In Trieste the Trio presented the new album including songs by Alice in Chains, Coldplay, The Police, Depeche Mode and others. “Strange” comments Hakim “I played with Sting  and here we present our version of the song King of Pain by The Police. Moreover: I also  have been collaborating for long time with Weather Report and also Rachel played with Wayne Shorter when she took place to the recordHighlife. And tonite on this stage the Trio of Oz has played the piece by Wayne Shorter E.S.P.

With this unforgettable performance The Trio of Oz left a remarkable sign in Trieste.

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