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The Exciting Trio
Signal to Noise
Christian Carey

The Exciting Trio present both neo-traditional jazz and sound experiments on <i>In Chicago There is Willy</i>. "In a Place" is a post-bop tune that is vigorous yet buoyant. The piece's hard swinging performance, particularly Schneider's sterling guitar solo, amply demonstrates that these musicians can play straight ahead when they want to. Other compositions, like "Scannurz" and "Bow:M", an arco bass showcase, emphasize their more adventurous side.  But some of the Exciting Trio's best moments are when they blur the boundaries between these two stylistic practices, creating an appealing sort of post-jazz.  "Remembering Tokyo, the Last Alaskan" is such a composition.  Schneider responds to a by-the-numbers, slow walking bass line from Rodriguez, but he enters on the "wrong" beat.  Gradually, his playing devolves into greater and greater sonic entropy, until even Pavkovic is pulled away from the beat into digressive fills - all in all, a beautiful deconstruction.  The album ends with the elegaic and stately "Lutrell", a fourteen-minute composition that could pass for slowcore.  Schneider has a flair for Frisell-style pastoral playing; he brings it to bear here with considerable grace and loveliness.

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