Travis Wesley Trio | Cycle By Three

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Cycle By Three

by Travis Wesley Trio

A strikingly original set of compositions performed by Wesley's trio consisting of Toby Curtright on bass and Tom Marko on drums. The album features impressive interplay between the musicians, and infuses many of today's musical influences.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude
5:46 $0.99
2. Keeper of Keys
7:48 $1.25
3. But He Himself Was Broken
6:04 $1.25
4. Spring Is Here
9:10 $1.25
5. Fading Friends
7:44 $1.25
6. Song for Madelynne
11:55 $1.25
7. Memoriam
5:05 $1.25
8. For Us This Is the End of All Stories
6:04 $1.25
9. Postlude
6:51 $1.25
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

The piano-bass-drums trio has been given new life in jazz in recent years by the
Bad Plus, Brad Mehldau and the late Esbjorn Svensson in EST. While Travis
Wesley's previous CD Natural Diversion paid tribute to such pianists as Red
Garland, Wynton Kelly, Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal, Cycle By Three is a giant
step forward. His playing is strikingly original and his interplay with bassist Toby
Curtright and drummer Tom Marko during a program filled with colorful originals is
consistently impressive.

"The music crosses over several genres," says Wesley, "and I hope that it will be
attractive not just to jazz enthusiasts but to many others. We wanted to modernize
the sound of the piano trio, break some rules and display our own artistic voices.
Drummer Tom Marko is very supportive, solid, and his musical comments are
tasty and stylistically appropriate. Toby Curtright's approach to the bass lies
somewhere between the sounds of Scott LaFaro and Jaco Pastorius. His sound is
perfect for this group's concept." Many of the selections have Wesley's left hand
and bassist Curtright stating the melodies together, giving the group an easily
identifiable sound.

The pianist contributed six pieces to Cycle By Three. "Prelude" and "Postlude"
bookend the set with identical themes (based off of Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor
#4") that are interpreted in different ways. "Keeper Of Keys" has a melody line
inspired by Bach, a floating quality and a backbeat that brings the piece to a
climax. "Fading Friends" features the creative use of a hip hop groove that is
soulful, joyful and a bit funky while still including a lot of improvisation. "Song For
Madelynne" (dedicated to Wesley's daughter) is the longest piece of the set. It has
a catchy background and a creative drum solo by Marko. "Memoriam" is a hyper
and inventive performance dedicated to Esbjorn Svensson and EST.

Bassist Toby Curtright brought in two songs that are also on Cycle By Three. Both
works, "But He Himself Was Broken" and "For Us, This Is The End Of All Stories,"
are instrumentals that have religious themes. The former uses Curtright's bowed
bass and repetitious figures from the piano very effectively while the latter is a
ballad that is reminiscent of Pat Metheny in its harmonies. Also included on Cycle
By Three is a lyrical, modernized and quietly emotional version of the Rodgers &
Hart classic "Spring Is Here."

Travis Wesley was born and raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He began taking piano
lessons when he was ten and, although he was most interested in classic rock at
the time, he soon discovered jazz through his piano teacher. "Jazz is where I come
from. The commitment and artistry that it takes to be able to play it is a lifelong
pursuit. It is the deepest form of artistic expression that there is."

Wesley attended the Berklee College of Music for a year, earned a Bachelors
degree in music from Eastern Illinois University, completed his Masters in 2005
and recently earned his doctorate. Wesley worked with saxophonist Willie Akins in
St. Louis during 2004-05, became a well respected educator and has led his own
groups for years in addition to appearing with some of the top musicians of the

While Travis Welsey's playing on 2012's Natural Diversion showed his roots, Cycle
By Three displays his individuality and creativity. This colorful and inventive set
points the way towards the piano trio of the future.



to write a review

Bill Duncan

Cycle by Three
After first hearing a working copy of Song for Madelynne late last year I knew this was going to be a record that was different. Travis & Toby Curtright have written some wonderfully original music. Together with Tom Marko, this trio is simply amazing. Cycle by Three is a record that I continue to listen to over & over again. I'm sure when you hear this cd you'll do the same.

Jeremy G.

Cycle By Three review
I was thoroughly impressed by the innovative sounds from Cycle by Three. From Prelude to Postlude, Cycle by Three contains an excellent flow and balance throughout the entire album and takes you on a musical journey that makes you want to come back for more. Travis and the rest of his trio have created a truly inspiring sound on this album, and it is definitely a must have for any jazz enthusiast.


rhythms flow together like a story versus a collection of songs. The quality of any story lies in the skill of the teller. Travis masterfully tells this story with creative riffs and flair that are underscored by a solid base line. Great story!

Brian M.

Standing Ovation
I had the pleasure of previewing Keeper of Keys while this album was in development and was immediately drawn in by the stylistic change of the track. Along with But He Himself Was Broken, showcases the artistry, talent and depth of the trio. Cycle by Three draws you in and leaves you in anticipation of what is next from the trio.


Powerful and Passionate
Wow! I love this CD! I found it deep, profound, passionate - hitting a wide range of emotions throughout the cycle. Travis Wesley's compositions are especially intense, sometimes hitting a deep emotion that feels good to be found. I love the complexity of these works, yet they are accessible. I know I will enjoy listening to this CD over and over again!

Danny Mielneczek

My first impression of this album was that it's an excellent mix of songs, and would tackle any road trip, with ease. My second impression is that the tracks are more than music…they are art. You can hear a myriad of talent and passion emerging from every track. This album is packed with brilliant music that journeys from mellow reverence to uplifting energy. This blend makes Cycle by Three an album that can be appreciated while running, relaxing or working. This is without doubt a must have for any jazz fanatic. What more can I say?

jared h

This album is much more listens like a story instead of a collection of songs
Kind of a like jazzy pink floyd album. Like all stories, the real enjoyment comes from the skill of the story teller. In this case travis is mother goose

Cycle By Three - Review

Excellent Choice for Progressive Jazz Fans
The new album by Travis Wesley is of the highest quality you are going to get with this style of Jazz. The album ebbs and flows very well, and has many sonic peaks and valleys for the mind to explore. If you are not familiar with the musicians on this album, they are the best of the best and the playing here proves it.

Sonically speaking, the recording is absolutely flawless. You can hear every piano note ridiculously clearly which is nice seeing as it is the forefront instrument, but even the bass and drums (especially the drums, the cymbal articulation is out of this world) blend in smoothly and are perfect in the mix .

I would recommend this to not only fans of the genre, but to anyone that plays an instrument period. These guys obviously know what they are doing and have set the bar high.