Robert Mitchell 3i0 - The Greater Good
Pianist Robert Mitchell resisted entering the crowded field of piano trios for a while, preferring to concentrate on his larger Panacea groups, but the 3io (the name apparently is how they refer to the group in text messages) with Tom Mason and Richard Spaven has developed into a notably collective unit since forming in 2005. The album’s title is intended to reflect that idea of the whole being more than the sum of the parts.
The music is broadly in the same stylistic area as the likes of Neil Cowley or EST, generally built on simple motifs and structures that are developed in somewhat repetitive fashion, but with freedom to create in interesting ways within that simplicity. The tactic works well on a number of tunes, including Mitchell’s ‘Cumulus’, Wayne Shorter’s ‘Dance Cadaverous’, Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ and the energised title track, although they do get mired in less productive routines at times.