Just a couple years after bringing guitarist Cole Schuster and bassist Greg Feingold from the Berklee College of Music to Seattle, drummer Max Holmberg and the 200 Trio have certainly endeared themselves to their new hometown.
The threesome are playing all over Seattle, including the Triple Door's Musicquarium Lounge, exclusive "Hidden Jazz Club" shows through Air B&B, and at Egan's Ballard Jam House, where Jim Wilke recorded their new second album, Trinity.
Following on a debut of standards interpretations, Trinity features all original songs from the 200 Trio. Impressively, the fresh melodies hew close to the sounds of the classic guitar, bass and drums trios of the 50s and 60s. Fans of Herb Ellis, Grant Green and Joe Pass will find much to like in these songs.
Cole Schuster has been nominated for one of Earshot's Golden Ear awards for Emerging Artist of the Year, and the 200 Trio are likewise nominated in the Acoustic Group of the Year category. It's due as much to their talent and popularity as to how integrated these three players have become in our area's musical community.
Look for the 200 Trio backing up singer Jacqueline Tabor on her new album this year, and Schuster plays regularly in the disORGANized trio with organist Delvon Lamarr and drummer Alec Gayton.
Feingold and Holmberg often work with saxman Kareem Kandi, and Max Holmberg's drumming is nicely featured with the modern jazz group The Arsonists. Greg Feingold has moved into jazz education, teaching at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Live on KNKX, the 200 Trio led with a mid-tempo waltz, then a beautiful ballad I'll be playing a lot on lazy Summer afternoons this year. Finally, from behind the drum kit, Holmberg asked whether they should finish with something in "straight 8" or something that really swings. Well, let's just say the title song of the new Trinity album swings like a well-oiled gate in a wind storm, and the 200 Trio left our studio audience whooping with joy.