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Joe Policastro Trio

  • Arts + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

The Joe Policastro Trio's new album, Screen Sounds, follows a long jazz tradition of reinterpreting songs from film soundtracks and musicals (think John Coltrane's transcendent version of The Sound Of Music's "My Favorite Things" or Cannonball Adderley's album-length take on Fiddler On The Roof). The Chicago outfit makes an interesting mix of choices, starting the album with the main theme from Akira Kurosawa's samurai-Western classic Yojimbo and ending it with Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet's intro music for the great Canadian sketch-comedy show The Kids In The Hall. More importantly, bassist Policastro, guitarist Dave Miller, and drummer Mikel Avery find a variety of sonic approaches here. On "Nadia's Theme" from The Young And The Restless, they stir up a beautiful, sighing tumult that recalls the dynamism of Dirty Three, with Policastro's bass rippling under Miller's tastefully overdriven electric guitar. They're more mannered and laid-back on the main theme from Cool Hand Luke, and they turn Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" (someone in the band must be a Shrek fan!) into a bittersweet, reverb-tinged waltz. The Twin Peaks theme, in the absence of shimmering FM synths, becomes more of a tender exchange. —Scott Gordon

Later Event: October 20
Julien Baker, Half Waif, Petal