Monday, December 16, 2013

A terrific jazz trio by any name

Eddie Metz Jr.
The splendid jazz trio, featuring drummer Eddie Metz Jr., bassist Nicki Parrott and pianist Rossano Sportiello, has been working together for several years, honing a fine, swinging blend of mainstream  jazz. Often it feels like a leaderless adventure, with no one person calling all the shots. 

Nicki Parrott
Sometimes the band’s name changes (The Eddie Metz Trio, the Nicki Parrott Trio, the Sportiello-Parrott-Metz Trio) depending on which of them booked the gig. It seems they are settling on a new handle – The International Jazz Trio – which makes great sense seeing that there’s one American, one Australian and one Italian aboard. (Metz is based in Florida, Parrott and Sportiello are based in the New York City area.)

Rossano Sportiello
The trio will embark next month on a 10-day Florida tour that coincides with its release of a new CD, It’s a Good Day (Arbors). The tour opens with a CD release event at the Side Door Cabaret in St. Petersburg. 

A global name with no first billing makes perfect sense for this unit as it continues to build its following. 

“It really is a democracy,” bassist and singer Parrott told me today. “All three of us are featured in the band. We know each other and have such a full repertoire now. We actually get on the stage without a set list. I love the looseness of it. We really can go in any direction.”

Parrott says she’s noticed that “not all of jazz is swinging, fun, enjoyable, entertaining these days. It’s still there but you have to look for it.” Those qualities do permeate every concert by this trio, however. “That’s what I love about working with Rossano and Eddie,” she said. “We want to swing and entertain. We want to put on a concert. It’s a show. When you think about the best of the business, they put on a show. It always was of musical value and that was the key thing.”

Florida jazz fans will have seven opportunities to catch the band on this swing, five of them with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen as a special guest.
  • Jan. 9  - St. Petersburg, Side Door Cabaret
  • Jan. 10 - Sarasota, Holley Hall (Jazz Club of Sarasota) with Allen
  • Jan. 11 - Sanibel Island, Schein Performance Hall, with Allen
  • Jan. 13 - Port Charlotte, Cultural Center Theater (Charlotte County Jazz Society) with Allen
  • Jan. 14 - West Palm Beach, 264 The Grill, with Allen
  • Jan. 15 - Avon Park, South Florida State College Performing Arts Center’s Jazz Series with Allen     
  • Jan. 18 - Vero Beach, Vero Beach Yacht Club (Treasure Coast Jazz Society’s Jazz at Noon series)

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