“Their deep understanding of each other and deft analysis of choice repertoire repays repeat and close listening.”
“On Nothing Here Belongs, the trio, with dizzying elasticity and infectious melodicism, cover Bruce Springsteen and Talking Heads along with heady originals.”
“In fact, I’m really gassed about the original compositions on [the new album too]. I was reminded of the Gateway Trio that Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette and John Abercrombie had.”
Ron Esposito, Cincinnati Public Radio
After building a reputation on Chicago’s jazz scene for reaching outside the jazz realm in crafting unique and unorthodox interpretations of film and TV scores, rock and pop tunes, the West Side Story suite etc, the Joe Policastro Trio finally unveils its original material on Nothing Here Belongs. As before, the band blurs the line between jazz and other forms and further showcases the intangible chemistry between Policastro on standup bass, Mikel Avery on drums, and guitarist Dave Miller, who goes from a classic jazz sound to progressive, rock, and surf tones on a dime — all without using effects or pedals.
ABOUT THE BAND
What eventually became the JOE POLICASTRO TRIO took shape in 2010 when bassist Joe Policastro landed a 3-night a week gig at Pops For Champagne in downtown Chicago. What many would have treated as a “background gig” quickly developed into an incubator for its members to write, arrange, and develop a collective voice in the way that only a band can over time. Early versions of the group were successful, but it wasn’t until guitarist Dave Miller relocated back to Chicago from New York at the outset of 2015 that the group truly coalesced. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band’s open-minded, inclusive nature draws upon a wide array of musical styles and sources while still keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic trio intact. Bassist Joe Policastro, guitarist Dave Miller, and drummer Mikel Avery regularly perform throughout the United States and Canada having even performed for President Barack Obama in October of 2016. On February 8 2019, the band released its fourth album entitled Nothing Here Belongs.The new release follows in the wake of West Side Story Suite (2013), POPS! (2016), and Screen Sounds (2017), all of which highlighted the trio’s ability to remake unlikely songs in its own raw, highly idiosyncratic fashion. Nothing Here Belongs, by contrast, for the first time showcases the trio’s captivating body of original music (all by Policastro), while also including characteristically bold arrangements of songs by Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, and Santo & Johnny.
Chicago bassist JOE POLICASTRO grew up in the fertile jazz, classical, and popular music scene of Cincinnati, OH. After performing and recording in Germany, he relocated to Chicago where he quickly established himself an in-demand bassist and arranger/composer. He has performed and recorded with a wide array of artists such as Diane Schuur, Jeff Hamilton, Howard Levy, Phil Woods, Pat and Debby Boone, Tim Ries, Ira Sullivan, Howard Alden, Rick Margitza, Jim Snidero, David “Fathead” Newman, and Billy Hart. Also active as a composer and arranger, his work can be heard on recordings by numerous artists including Ira Sullivan and the Rob Parton Big Band. He leads and co-leads the Gerry Mulligan tribute ensembles, Jeru, and the Mulligan Mosaics Big Band, both for which he has extensively written and arranged. As an educator, he has been a Ravinia Jazz Mentor, a Lecturer of Jazz Studies at DePaul University, a bass instructor at Morton College and the Chicago Academy for the Arts, and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory.
Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist MIKEL PATRICK AVERY has been active within the Chicago art scene since moving to the area in 2006. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional “non-musical” objects. Mikel is also a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek’s Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates’s Black Monks of Mississippi. He also leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*, and a new conceptual dance company co-led with artist Amanda Avery called The Something Beautiful Movement Orchestra. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama.
Combining major stints in both New York City and Chicago and numerous tours abroad, DAVE MILLER
has cultivated a truly unique, exciting, and inviting approach to songwriting, jazz improvisation, and the guitar. After releasing three albums to wide acclaim with his experimental rock band, Algernon (Cuneiform Records), Miller once again redefined his parameters for his latest album under his name (“Old Door Phantoms”, ears&eyes Records), this time taking cues from early American folk music. All the while, he has maintained a role in many collaborative bands such as noisy avant garde-ists, blink. (Thirsty Ear Recordings) and has served as a consummate sideman to such luminaries as jazz songwriter, Patricia Barber, and Brazilian composer, Clarice Assad. Grammy winning music journalist, Neil Tesser, cites Miller “among my favorite modern guitarists” (chicagomusic.org
). The broad-minded musician’s “impressive flexibility” can range “from carefully structured improvisations to complementary texture and color” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) while still “making a listener feel inches from the guitar” (Mark Keresman, New York City Jazz Record).
July 18: California Clipper (Chicago, IL)
July 26: Summer Wine Festival – Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL)
August 12: Evenings In Ephraim (Door County, WI – Ephraim)
August 16: Offbeat Roadhouse – Live Broadcast – WTJU (Charlottesville, VA)
August 18: Isis Music Hall (Asheville, NC)
September 20: Mercury Cafe (Denver CO)
October 9: Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music (Columbus, OH)
October 10: Jazz and Beyond Series – Dayton Institute of Art (Dayton, OH)
October 11: JazzBuffalo (Buffalo, NY)
October 12: Room 33 (Erie, PA)
October 16: Wolf Performance Hall (London, ON)
October 18: The Rex (Toronto, ON)
October 19: Cliff Bell’s (Detroit, MI)
“No Idea” live
“I’m On Fire” (Springsteen cover)