When The Bad Plus burst onto the jazz scene in the early 2000's there was some controversy among purists concerning the rock sensibility of this jazz trio. But that didn't stop the group from becoming a sensation at festivals around the world. A decade and a half later, the genre-bending jazz piano trio is a genre unto itself. The latest incarnation to liven up my CD player is KROM, a power trio lead by Adam Kromelow on piano, with Raviv Markovitz on bass and Jason Burger, drums and percussion. Who says jazz can't be fun?
All three members of KROM are making their own way up the musical ladder, playing as sidemen with established artists. But when they take the reins, their sound is rhythm-based and as intriguing as it is engaging. Not that they are incapable of inspired solos; listen to Kromelow's flights on "The Experiment." And those who crave complexity can find more than enough in the Escher-like intricacy of "See With Your Eyes." But it's the distinctive sound of melodies pounded out with chords and deceptively simple phrases that stick to your brain that makes KROM a wonderful addition to the jazz canon.