by: Christopher Hislop for the Portsmouth Herald
Chris O’Neill, Paul Donahue and Keith Foley, members of Seacoast favorites, the Amorphous Band, are three of the nicest dudes in the circuit. They’re all approachable and unthreatening, but when they get behind their instruments… watch out. They’re apt to scorch you. In a good way, of course.
“3-stylin’” the new “side project” of the trio, aptly calling themselves the Amorphous Trio, demands to be heard from the first track until the last.
The group does a particularly nice job covering great tunes by an array of fine artists. On this particular recording, they’ve laid down Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and a brow-raising live version of John Scofield’s “Hottentot.”
All these tunes are fine additions to the record as a whole, and closing with Scofield is a pleasant nod in the direction of an obvious influence that is saturated in O’Neill’s infectious guitar playing.
What’s more impressive is the direction in which they take their own compositions, which blend seamlessly from track-to-track, coves and all. All you can do when the record ends is think, “damn, these guys are mighty fine.” So you scramble to hit “play” again.
The tight jazz grooves coming from O’Neill’s guitar and Donahue’s kit blend well with the elements of subtle funk that is masterfully composed by Foley.
These meshing elements set the mood for a record that you can straight out crank to full volume and rock to or just have playing in the background at a social gathering.
Not only does pristine playing by the three highlight the hour-long record, but also some humorous song-titles as well.