by Ellen Cooney
Zach Brock and Triptych Jazz Trio clearly have a special relationship with Fort Collins. That was clear at their stellar October 10 performance at Ace Gillett’s, one of the premier jazz venues in the city. The main room was sold out days in advance, and the overflow room was nearly sold out as well. Those who managed to make it out to the performance on a cold October evening were well rewarded.
From the first piece the crowd was clearly captured by the power of the performance. The group has a seamless, organic sound that reflects their playing together for 20 years. Stellar performances by Matt Ulery on bass and Jon Deitemeyer on drums provide a driving rhythm that creates energy which quickly permeates a room. The virtuoso performance of Zach Brock on the violin grabs the listener’s attention, as you wait to see what comes next. At times melodic and at times discordant the music is unexpected, engaging, and intriguing. The performers’ passion for their music, all of which is written by group members, is evident and contagious. These are musicians who clearly love their art and make you love it too.
Ace Gillett’s provides an excellent venue for this performance. It is a comfortable, cozy spot that serves excellent drinks and small plates, which makes this a convivial, relaxing evening to share with friends. As good as the first half was, we found we enjoyed the second half even more when we moved up to the front of the room and could listen to the music undistracted by the hustle of servers and buzz of conversations. While some musical groups provide a relaxing background for an evening out, Triptych definitely deserves your undivided attention. Being up close allows an even greater appreciation for the variety and complexity of the sounds they can create. Next time they come, we plan to come early, snag one of the booths in the front of the room and enjoy drinks and conversations with friends before the performance so we can fully focus on the music once it starts.
Finally, a real treat yet to come — Off the Hook Arts brings Zach Brock and Triptych back during summer 2018 for the closing week of SummerFest to perform newly composed works for classical string quartet and jazz trio! Performing with the Miami String Quartet, they’ll close out the festival with a joint concert on July 20th. If their curent performance is any measure of what to expect — and I’m sure it is —- this will be an event not to be missed.