Although it was some time before the trio recorded their first album, Fluxus (2013), the players had devoted the intervening years to establishing a solid live reputation. During this period, they also won several awards, both individually and collectively. Nature City, the follow-up to Fluxus, was only released in early 2017 – just in time for their ten-year anniversary. Prior to this came the NY project The Howls Are Not What They Seem (2016), which saw the players collaborate with Christopher Hoffman (cello) and Michaël Attias (saxophone).
LAB is also short for laboratory, which has very literal connotations. On the one hand, it is a physical space in which to experiment and, on the other, the site of tried and tested formulas. The initials of their names can also be reconfigured: LAB, ABL, BAL. The answer to the question as to who sets the tone of a composition, lays its foundations, and either elaborates or plugs the gaps, is always different.
Lander Gyselinck’s drumming (see also STUFF., Ragini Trio, Kris Defoort, BeraadGeslagen) can be as peaceful as it can be unsettling, alternating at the drop of a hat between accompaniment and the accentuation, propulsion and completion of a melody. He is a timekeeper who isn’t afraid to take his eyes off the clock. Anneleen Boehme’s bass, by contrast, has an incredible groove, which leads the way assertively. Bram De Looze, on piano, demonstrates great consistency, which extends in many directions. The dexterity and precision of his playing is a continuous source of surprise.
LABtrio flirt openly with classical music and are not nervous of producing, for example, their own arrangement of the Goldberg Variations. But make no mistake: they are deeply rooted in the art of the jazz trio. The band creates a playful, cheerful and youthful sound, which is sometimes reminiscent of the world-renowned Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Sadly, just a year after Lander, Anneleen and Bram started working together, the aforementioned ensemble disbanded due to the unexpected death of pianist Svensson. LABtrio presents itself as a worthy successor.
Foto: (c) Alexander Popelier