Meridian Trio features Chicago-based musicians Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone, Matt Ulery on bass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums. Mazzarella, the group’s leader and composer, formed the ensemble in 2014 to play a steady monthly gig at the Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. That engagement lasted three years, during which time the trio developed a tight-knit musical rapport and a repertoire of original material. Through many hours of public performance, they gradually cultivated a unique and cohesive group sound—one as energetic as it is nuanced.
Mazzarella’s compositions for the trio draw upon the traditions of both avant-garde and modern jazz through a synthesis of free improvisation, interval-based improvisation, modalism, elements of the blues, swinging grooves and other cyclical rhythmic structures. The common thread unifying these components is a strong melodic sensibility shared by the players, formed and continuously refined by regular live performances.
In January 2016, the trio undertook a month-long residency at The Whistler. Each set was recorded and featured a collection of compositions selected from the trio’s established repertoire, as well as pieces written specifically to be workshopped during the residency. The three-track Andromeda EP is the result of that process, as is a full length album entitled Triangulum, which will be released on Clean Feed Records in May 2017. These are the first recorded offerings by Meridian Trio, and they represent some of the group’s most successful musical explorations to date.
All compositions by Nick Mazzarella (BMI)
Nick Mazzarella — alto saxophone
Matt Ulery — bass
Jeremy Cunningham — drums
Recorded live at The Whistler by Dave Zuchowski
Mixed by Erik Hall
Mastered by Anthony Gravino
Artwork by Damon Locks