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Whether reinventing jazz standards, breathing fresh life into classical repertoire, or premiering their own original works, Tre Corda generates a compelling sound all its own. Their works blend composition and improvisation in new and unexpected ways, using the musical vocabulary of classical composers like Bartok and Stravinsky, as well as songs and ideas from the worlds of jazz and popular musics. The name of the group comes from classical piano notation, as an instruction to the pianist to release the soft pedal and let all three strings vibrate freely (literally “three strings” or “three sounds”), and suggests that the trio’s members, individually and collectively, are free to explore their own creative path – independent of boundaries and categories that limit musical expression. Cellist Eugene Friesen’s dynamic rhythms and incredible array of bowing and plucking techniques, trumpeter Greg Hopkins’s virtuosic leaps and outrageous genre-bending phrases, and pianist Tim Ray’s lyric melodicism and two-fisted pyrotechnics – these are just a few of the ways Tre Corda concerts have satisfied and delighted audiences with both jazz and classical expectations. The Boston Globe called this new group “inventive, spirited, humorous…“, and Downbeat Magazine‘s Fred Bouchard raved in the May 2004 issue about their self-titled debut CD, giving it 3 1/2 stars.
In addition to performances of their own repertoire, Tre Corda also presents a program in tribute to jazz great Miles Davis, and a program of love songs from the Great American Songbook.
“Tre Corda brings together an awesome array of talent, performance wisdom and stylistic variations, from classical to pop and jazz. They are world ambassadors.” – Somerville Journal
“Tre Corda consists of pianist Tim Ray, cellist Eugene Friesen and trumpet/flugelhorn player Greg Hopkins. On their self-titled CD on Agitated Cat Music, the trio explores the freer aspects of the jazz tradition. These accomplished musicians infuse the disc with elements of classical and world-beat music to give the tunes a very open, spatial sound. Highlights include the “Shorter Suite,” a series of improvised variations on melodies by Wayne Shorter, and a wild version of Rogers and Hart‘s “Blue Moon,” as well as several distinctive originals. A fine example of music without borders.” -Alan Chase, The Wire (NH)
“(Tre Corda) combined virtuosity and intelligence in two sets of original compositions and arrangements…winning in their rhythmic vitality, play of ideas, unexpectedly fine blend and all-round engagement with the music… (playing) rhythms that left Stravinsky and minimalism gasping for breath… That‘s chamber music, partner.” -Andrew Pincus, Berkshire Eagle