“Triceratops” – n.
– any of various dinosaurs of the genus Triceratops, of the late Cretaceous Period, having a bony crest on the neck, a long horn over each eye, and a shorter horn on the nose.
The above definition is what I always thought of when I heard or saw the noun “Triceratops”. Now, I have another picture and, more importantly, a new sound to accompany that term.
John Yao‘s band, Triceratops, sticks with the 3-horn theme, but that is where the similarities end!
The new album, “How We Do” brings the 3-horn sound, up-front and center. In previous incarnations of bands with 3 horns, the resulting band is a sextet (3 horns, bass, drums, piano/guitar). John does away with the chordal instrument which adds extra weight and importance to the 3-horn front line of his quintet.
The results are dangerously good!
To make a 3-horn line-up sound solid and powerful in a traditional band takes great arranging skills, but removing the chordal instrument (piano/guitar/vibes) challenges those skills on a whole new level!
This album is fun to listen to and the piano or guitar or [insert favorite chordal instrument here] is not even missed. (Confession: on my first listening I didn’t even notice there wasn’t a chordal instrument!) The tunes, arrangements, and playing is superb all around.
In this installment of Have You Heard, we feature this interesting and fun album and also spend some time chatting with John about his career and concepts of playing and arranging.
Let us know what you think of the album!
“How We Do”
John Yao – trombone
Billy Drewes – saxophone
John Irabagon – saxophone
Peter Brendler – bass
Mark Ferber – drums