Review: Joe Trio

Kassandra Mattice

Premiering their Atlantic Tour at Memorial Hall on UNB’s campus, Joe Trio captivated and entertained their audience October 15.  The trio performed a plethora of musical works, their program including (though not limited to) the genres of classical, jazz, and musical theatre.

“Joe Canada” was the opening number of the show, and the most effective way to describe this rendition of our national anthem is bizarre, clever, and in addition, to state that there was sporadic kazoo involvement. Following “Joe Canada” was a performance of Haydn’s “Piano Trio in G Major, Hob. 25 ‘Gypsy,’” and the breathtaking fluidity with which the group played this composition was immediately indicative of their versatility as professionals and performers.

This observation continued to prove true as the concert progressed. Original Joe works including “A Study in Punctuation,” “A Brief History of TV Themes (with apologies to various Decomposing Composers),” and “The Maltese Goose” (story by Gonzalez-Risso) conveyed a sense of fun and light heartedness within the trio. Parodying a film noir, “The Maltese Goose” is a part-dialogue part-musical-arrangement. Narrated by Tom Thumb, the private investigator is approached by a doe-eyed beauty, Bo, who is in straits over losing her sheep. A series of ‘intricate’ circumstances and witticisms involving characters from various Mother Goose nursery rhymes had all audience members laughing.

The trio performed other pieces including a West Side Story medley, which called for audience participation in the form of the musical’s famous finger-snapping, and Danse Macabre, a piece that promoted bone-chilling Halloween images and sensations. Their closing number, Salt Peanuts, was an impeccable example of bebop from the Jazz Age: originally composed by a master of the genre, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, Cameron Wilson arranged it as a piece that translated beautifully for the piano, violin and cello. This piece also required participation on behalf of the audience vocally, containing within it the recurring ‘chant’ of “Salt peanuts! Salt peanuts!”

Overall, Joe Trio’s performance was an awe striking one, and it was certainly a great way to convince anyone to attend the next “Music on the Hill” performance.


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