With its fifth release, Garage a Trois has crafted an album destined to go down as one of the best instrumental releases of the last couple decades. That may sound a tad hyperbolic, but Always Be Happy but Stay Evil showcases the extraordinary range of four musicians at the top of their respective games.
Supporting their most recent effort Power Patriot that came out in late 2009 on the stellar Royal Potato Family label, Garage A Trois made no reservations about being playing the part of entertainers. With two one hour sets, the quartet put whimsicality and energy first, while placing compositional perfection somewhere down the priority line, but it didn’t matter – this is a live band and these four guys toss any preconceived jazz notions by way of prog and rock leanings.
Garage a Trois is a band which at first could be thought of as an all-star band of heavy hitters, but that would be a severe understatement. The band, which started as a trio consisting of saxophonist Skerik, guitar virtuoso Charlie Hunter, and drummer Stanton Moore, later adding vibraphonist Mike Dillon, has grown into a tightly structured, well oiled funk beast. Hunter is no longer part of the group, in that slot is one of the most in demand keyboard players around, Marco Benevento, who permanently joined the group in 2007.