The members of Irish piano trio Origin Story – pianist Greg Felton, drummer Matthew Jacobson and bassist Cormac O Brien – have been playing together, learning together and generally bouncing off one another for the last quarter century, and that shared history, their evident pleasure in each other’s company, shines gloriously through on this excellent debut album.
The trio, formerly known as F-JOB, make a sound that is artfully poised between the past and the future, a gutsy, gloriously organic confection of wayward melodies, ambiguous harmonies and densely funky rhythms.
The new name seems to hint at respect for the elders, an awareness of their place in the continuum of creative music, and certainly there are ancestral echoes of Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill and Jaki Byard, as well as discernible traces of more contemporary influences such as Jason Moran’s Bandwagon and The Bad Plus.
The new name also references the trio’s deep musical connection, and it’s the way the trio have assimilated their musical history and shaped it into a shared, intensely personal language that sets Origin Story apart from other piano trios.
Whether it’s the jagged strut of O Brien’s Squirk, the brooding abstraction of Jacobson’s Undone, or the joyous Latin funk of Felton’s Rum, there is an unique and instantly engaging personality here that will satisfy the discerning jazz listener as well as snag the ears and win the heart of any curious music lover.