The Marcus Roberts Trio – a long-term musical partnership between pianist, Marcus Roberts, the phenomenal drummer Jason Marsalis, and gifted bassist Rodney Jordan.
The Marcus Roberts Trio is known for its virtuosic style and entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. While most jazz trios have the piano front and center, all members of the Marcus Roberts Trio share equally in shaping the direction of the music by changing its tempo, mood, texture, or form at any time. And they do this with lightning-quick musical reflexes and creative imagination. The trio is known for having almost telepathic communication on the stage. And more than a few concert goers have been heard to say that it sounds like a lot more than three people up there on the stage!
The Marcus Roberts Trio believes in ‘letting the music take over’ and the result is a powerfully rhythmic and melodic sound that is filled with rhythmic, harmonic, and dynamic contrast. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching this trio perform is that it is so evident that these three musicians are really having fun playing together and listening to each other.
“One way Roberts individualizes his sound is by utilizing orchestral devices initially borrowed from the Ahmad Jamal Trio. In the course of a single piece, he constantly modulates grooves, tempos and keys, plays separate time signatures with the right hand and the left, and, as he puts it, “flips around the roles of the piano, bass and drums by giving everyone an equal opportunity to develop the concepts and themes, to change the form, to get us where we’re getting ready to go.” Ted Panken, Jazziz Magazine
Added to the logic and balanced trio style of Ahmad Jamal, is the swing and virtuosity of the Oscar Peterson Trio, combined with the buoyant joyous sound of Erroll Garner. These influences provide a rich foundation for the ever evolving and expanding sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio. The musical cues combine with musical inspiration from all over the world, which guarantees that audiences never know where this trio is heading; influences from Africa, Europe, and South Amerca are combined with American traditions to give this goup an infinite palate of styles, tambours and colors to draw from.