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Steamin Past by The Trillium Trio

The Trillium Trio has played for some years in the resort areas of the Muskoka Lakes, a beautiful part of Ontario. A part of the larger Trillium Jazzband, the trio is a fixture on the R.M.S. Segwun, the oldest operational steamship in North America. They also play on the vintage railway cars of the Ossiwippi Express in Orillia, Ontario.

As you would probably guess, their repertoire is very much in tune with their venues and includes rags, spirituals and vintage jazz numbers. At the sound of the first note from Bill Urban's clarinet, the listener is reminded of the style and enthusiasm of the Hoosier Hot Shots without the "hokum". Bassist, Louis Tusz takes the vocal on "I'm Confessin'" with a subdued clarinet and guitar in harmony. You can expect abrupt mood changes as the trio switches from a ballad to a bright two step in the form of "Whistlin' Rufus" penned by Kerry Mills in 1899.

The CD is a gumbo of delightful tunes from the 1800s to the 1930s and it's the type of album you could haul out for a party or summer barbecue. This is guaranteed to please the older generation and many of the youngsters too. After a decade of togetherness, the trio plays with flawless abandon. The individual musicians are highly competent and I was especially taken with the bass playing of Louis Tusz.

The session includes 17 tracks and you can have a look at them on Trillium's website. By the way, the group takes its name from the Trillium, the provincial flower of Ontario.

I guess I'll take a steamboat trip this next summer!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: The Trillium Trio
  • CD Title: Steamin Past
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Trillium Jazz
  • Musicians: Louis Tusz (bass, vocals), Bill Urban (clarinet, vocals), Marguerite Urban (banjo, guitar)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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