The initials of the leader form the name of the PLS
Trio. A penchant for merging soft music with something edgy, the group
releases East River (Echo Chamber Music, 2015).
The trio is comprised of Pier Luigi Salami, piano, effects and synths;
Martin D. Fowler, electric bass and synth bass; and Shawn Crowder,
drums, percussion, electronic drums and percussion.
“Yellow Is Not Just a Color” opens the set. It begins with the piano
playing a looping melody. The cymbals and rim shots change from steady
to something off-beat. Ultimately, a fuller sound emerges, with the bass
and various effects. The song settles into a steadier rhythm, with the
drum kit locking in the pace. Salami cranks up the heat, at times
tickling the keys with high-speed focus.
“Trieste” begins like an ambient piece. The high-hat is subtle
underneath a flowing piano lead. All instruments warm gradually. Once
they’re firmly engaged, a few haunting effects are added. It’s like an
adventurous journey through tunnels, with the occasional hidden danger
popping up. The song shifts again to something brighter, more rhythmic.
Instead of adventure, it’s children on a playground, tumbling, running
or flying kites.
The trio composed eight of the nine original songs, with Salami and
Fowler teaming up for one track. The set also includes the trio’s
arrangement of a Little Dragon song, “Twice,” with guest vocalist Woodsy
Born in 1987, Italian pianist Salami began playing at the age of 6. A
self-taught musician, he landed a scholarship to the Berklee College of
Music, where he graduated in 2010. He resides in New York City.
East River is effectively a blend of Northern European and American jazz,
with a hint of electronica.