One of the most underrated and underpublicized bands in the Northeast, The Vorcza Trio, played two stellar shows this past weekend in Burlington, VT. The band is not your typical organ trio, although just by looking they may seem to be. They do not do enough in the way of promotion and advertising, however they more than make up for it with whacked out, jazz tinged, raging perfomances. This was evident beyond a shadow of a doubt with their two gigs in B-Town.

The Vorcza Trio (pronounce Voor-ja) wowed a half-full Red Square on Thursday evening with a punishing set that ran from mellow rare groove to MMW type noodling and even into New Deal/St.Germain territory. But do not be mistaken, these guys are no imitators, as they tore through jazz standards in the real book with reckless abandon, mixing them with free form funk and abstract sonic riddles. The set was easy-flowing, they stop for maybe a breath between songs and took only one short break. Many people in the bar were flat out amazed by the organ talents of Ray Paczkowsi (Viperhouse), as he ran amuck the Hammond B-3 in the vein of Medeski, Jimmy Smith and Rueben Wilson. The Upright basswork of Rob Morse is not to be omitted, either, as he layed down the tight grooves for drummer Gabe Jarrett (son of jazz legend Keith Jarrett, drummer for the James Harvey Trio, flat out Burlington's best drummer). Sometimes, Ray would play bass on the organ and Rob would either play high on the upright or unleash his trombone for some blaring brass, to spice things up a bit.

Speaking of spicing, Dave Diamond, the guitar man (Dave Grippo Funk Band, The Invisible Hand, Honey Pot) joined the Vorcza Trio both nights to add a litte six string terror to the grooves. Playing his positively luscious Heritage hollowbody, Diamond matched melodies with both Ray and Rob on tunes like "Conga Man Chant," "Seven Steps to Heaven," and the Eric Dolphy classic "Hat and Beard." The band enjoyed Dave's performance Friday at Valencia so much that they subsequently asked him to record with them in Montpelier, VT the very next day.

Friday's show also featured original Vorcza Trio drummer PJ Davidian, as Jarrett had a gig with the James Harvey Trio debuting Harvey's new jazz movement "Monkeys." PJ offered wild fills and an animated persona that brightened the vibe of some of the more straighforward, jazzier tunes. But Jarrett is one of the best skinsmen I have had the pleasure of watching from five feet away, and enough cannot be said about his playing other than to check it out ASAP, whomever he is gigging with.

As an aspiring organist myself, I am constantly amazed at the grooves and licks that Ray cooks up on the B-3. He is like a mad scientist, swaying and shrieking as the fire beneath the trio is flamed by his gasoline keyboard prowess. Several times I glanced over at the keyboard to see exactly how he was pulling off this cacophony while seated before me.

Whenever possible, get out to see The Vorcza Trio, as they are undoubtedly an underrated and super-talented band, carving a niche for themselves in this ever saturated Burlington music market place. The progressive energies of today over the jazz classics of yesterday make for an interesting sonic soup du jour.

One Love from Burilington,
Brian Getz
Jambase Burlington Correspondent
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 4/18/01]

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