Joe Policastro Trio
The Joe Policastro Trio is a Chicago-based jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro featuring guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band's open-minded, inclusive nature also brings rock, soul, funk, Brazilian, and free jazz to the surface while keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic jazz trio intact. Their third album, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records, August 11, 2017), is an assemblage of movie/TV music re-imagined by the trio. Both a musical tapestry and personal soundtrack, the trio has re-purposed these selections blending each member's unique voice into a unified sound while shedding new light on these musical touchstones. Other releases by the band include 2013's West Side Story Suite For Jazz Trio, and 2016's POPS!, also on JeruJazz Records.
Bands are a rarity in jazz these days, especially ones who hone their craft as consistently as this one does. Their last album, POPS! (2016), was a collection of the trio's re-workings of "pop" tunes, and a nod to Pops For Champagne, the famed Chicago nightclub where the trio continues its long-running, three-nights-a-week residency. Beyond Chicago, the band has been extensively playing together on the road having completed several tours even performing for President Barack Obama in October of 2016.
As sidemen, Joe Policastro (Jeff Hamilton, Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio. Whether highlighting the original music of its member, re-contextualizing modern music, or performing jazz classics of the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, or Charles Lloyd, the trio readily displays its singular approach, sound, texture, and simultaneity.
Known for its eclectic taste and approach, the Joe Policastro Trio "makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating." "Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity."
- Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat
"There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That's a political stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well…putting alternately gritty and focused touches on songs we've come to love….Policastro and company have found their niche tapping into different breeds of treasured songs."
- Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz