Chicago-based jazz trio embraces diversity
Hailed by Downbeat for its “deft analysis of choice repertoire,” and by the Chicago Reader for its “diversity of approaches to all kinds of source material,” the Joe Policastro Trio is a Chicago-based alternative jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro that features guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band’s open-minded, inclusive nature draws upon a wide array of musical styles and sources while still keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic trio intact.
Nothing Here Belongs (JeruJazz Records – February 8, 2019) marks the fourth release by the band. The release follows in the wake of West Side Story Suite (2013), POPS! (2016), and Screen Sounds (2017), all of which highlighted the trio’s ability to remake unlikely songs in its own raw, highly idiosyncratic fashion. Nothing Here Belongs, by contrast and for the first time, showcases the trio’s captivating body of original music, while also including characteristically bold arrangements of songs by Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, and Santo & Johnny.
True bands are a rarity in jazz these days, especially ones who hone their craft as consistently as this one does. In addition to their long-running thrice weekly residency at Pops For Champagne in the Chicago, the band has been extensively playing together throughout the US and Canada having even performed for President Barack Obama.
As sidemen, Joe Policastro (Jeff Hamilton, Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio. Whether highlighting the original music of its members, re-contextualizing modern music, or performing jazz classics of the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, or Charles Lloyd, the trio readily displays its singular approach, sound, texture, and simultaneity.