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The super-organic sound of this new Chicago jazz trio meanders playfully through interstellar space, only occasionally touching down to earth, before wandering off into the clouds once again. The group, comprised of percussionist David Pavkovic (The Boxhead Ensemble, Toe), guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217), and bassist Tatsu Aoki (Fred Anderson Quartet), describes its music accurately enough as "pop-flavored avant-garde jazz." The members of Tricolor developed the chemistry that allows them to produce such nuanced, densely textured, pop-oriented jazz while playing a Sunday night gig at Chicago's now-defunct Bop Shop, an open environment that encouraged them to experiment.

You can hear the results of that experimentation in the innovative aural pleasures offered by Tricolor's debut album, Mirth + Feckless, which came out in 1999 (and features "Seven"). Their sophomore effort, Nonparticipant + Milk (2001), finds the trio simultaneously honing its compositional skills and loosening things up a bit, allowing for considerably more spontaneity and improvisation than appeared on Tricolor's debut. "Nonparticipant" showcases Parker's warm exploratory guitar work against a skeletal, nervous drums-and-bass groove.

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