Mengamo Trio, Chat Bizarre Review
by Icrom Bigrad
After their critically acclaimed debut album, The One, the Mengamo Trio – comprising of guitarist Philipp Brämswig, Hammond organist Sebastian Scobel, and drummer Thomas Sauerborn – returns with an adventurous musical journey in their latest release, Chat Bizarre.
The trio, known for their eclectic style and compelling performances, made a decisive departure from their previous work, which included a melange of original pieces and distinctive arrangements of Nick Drake and Bill Frisell compositions. With Chat Bizarre, the band steps into new territory by showcasing an entire set of original works. This evolution reflects a confident stride into their unique musical identity, crafting a bold and artistically invigorating niche.
From the outset, one of the defining aspects of Chat Bizarre is the trio’s innovative and integrated use of effects. Their craft goes beyond merely adding sonic embellishments; instead, they deftly utilize effects as an essential tool to shape and color their sound. Whether it’s Brämswig’s sculpted guitar tones on “Song for George” or Scobel’s textural exploration on “Thin Curtain of Drops,” their shared expertise in deploying effects contributes to a dynamic and expressively rich soundscape.
Another pivotal point is the group’s genre-blending approach. While rooted in jazz, their musical reach extends seamlessly into rock, electronica, and funk territories. The stylistic diversity doesn’t dilute their core identity; instead, it amplifies their musical vocabulary and adds an engaging dimension to their compositions. This potent blend is notably evident on “Full Throttle,” a track that leverages the energy of rock while staying true to their jazz heritage.
As the principal soloist, Brämswig’s playing is a particular standout. His fusion of jazz, funk, blues, and rock influences is fluid, and his seamless interplay with his bandmates is nothing short of electrifying. Moreover, the trio’s interlocking rhythms and harmonies, anchored by Sauerborn’s diverse rhythmic palette, exemplify their musical unity and shared vision.
The commitment to original compositions on Chat Bizarre is a commendable leap, signaling the Mengamo Trio’s artistic maturity. Their ability to interweave multiple genres while maintaining a distinct jazz core and their innovative use of effects reinforces their unique voice within the modern jazz landscape.
The Mengamo Trio’s Chat Bizarre is a journey that pushes boundaries and invites listeners into a world of innovative and engaging musical explorations. It represents their evolution and growth as a trio, embodying thier dynamism and musical cohesion. If you’re seeking a refreshing take on jazz that’s as adventurous as it is accessible, Chat Bizarre will check those boxes.