Trio Flux and friends at the Blue Monk: Oliver, Gregg, Hutchinson adding to excellence

by Tom D’Antoni on November 7, 2011.

There is something totally seductive about the sound coming out of Neil Mattson’s guitar on a wet Sunday night in early November at the Blue Monk when he, acoustic bassist Julio Appling and drummer Adam Ochshorn, performing as Trio Flux take to the bandstand.

Part Frisell, part Metheny, some Chris Mosley even…but something else. As his hands seemed to hover over the strings, it was obvious why I was not the only one who was drawn into the sound, even though the audience at the Monk was unusually loud. The band grew organically from a long series of weekly jams at Proper Eats. Those jams are over, but the band remains. Read more…

Another Bridge Born – James M Gregg

by Kyle O’Brien – Jazz Society of Oregon

Portland trumpeter/composer/arranger Gregg may be more known as a bandleader at Tony Starlight’s, or for his role with other local groups, but this new disc lets him shine on an album of original retro-fusion tunes that may remind some of artists from decades past. The opening title track fuses techno and electro jazz-pop with Maynard Ferguson-style bravado before dissolving into a Miles Davis-ish fusion groove. The frenetic “The Smell of Smoke/Miles of Fires” is more “Bitches Brew,” with Gregg utilizing an effective wah-wah pedal as the rhythms swirl around him. Andrew Oliver’s electric piano comps with serious alterations, a la Herbie Hancock. The disc is a mix of late ’60s electrics and mid-’90s acid jazz that evokes both periods with ease, and guitarist Neil Mattson’s playing buoys it all. Gregg is a fiery player who is at home with both rock and jazz idioms, and his band gloms onto this aesthetic with verve, including drummer Kevin Van Geem. The tune “Red Gaze” adds a Randy Brecker polyphonic electricity and disjointed funk rhythm, while “Praxis Axis” evokes Vernon Reid and his harder edge. Gregg has an innate melodic sensibility, but this album presents his avant-garde side. The undercurrent melodies keep this semi-experimental album grounded, however. The tune “Verdant,” for instance, is as close as the album gets to melodic, and it rings nicely with long tones and thick chords. Gregg has found success with sounds from fusion’s past, but he could have attempted more new ground in his search backwards.
2011, Major Third Entertainment, 62 minutes.

Interview with Noah Peterson on KPSU

Listen to Trio Flux interviewed on KPSU‘s NW Jazz and More by Noah Peterson on January 31, 2011.


Trio Flux – their first, and self-titled album

by Mark Niemann-Ross on January 11, 2011

2010 saw the demise of the Proper Eats Jazz Jam, but in the form of Trio Flux, at least the house band lives on. Trio Flux, brainchild of Neil Mattson along with Julio Appling on bass and Adam Ochshorn on drums continue the original music that was first aired at Proper Eats. Unlike playing music in a jam session, Trio Flux took the opportunity to understand each other, and the music they created. Their self-titled album is the first fruit of those labors. Read more…

Trio Flux – hidden, but worth hearing

by Mark Niemann-Ross on April 3, 2010

Portland has great jazz hidden all over town, and available for your cheap (or free) listening pleasure. You just have to hear about it from a friend, and then show up. Here’s your first tip – go see Trio Flux with Neil Mattson on guitar, Adam Ochshorn on drums, and Julio Appling on bass. Why Trio Flux? Because they play jazz. Not Jazz standards. Jazz. Read more…

Recent Recordings by Area Artists

by Hazen Schumacher on October 1, 2006
What a romp this whole CD is! Djust imagine being in a djoint that is djumping with the music of an accordion, a clarinet, a violin, a string bass and two guitars. This combination is just as unlikely as the original Quintette of The Hot Club of France. Who would have guessed that a violin, a string bass and three guitars — all played by Frenchmen — could produce good jazz. Well, they did, mostly because of the presence of the Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhart. This Detroit Swingtet is devoted to Django’s memory, and Gypsy Djazz (Ranch RR0046) includes six of his compositions, including the beautiful “Nuages.” Read more…
Posted in