Go Trio

by Matthew Crain

After two muggy, rainy nights back to back with The Go Trio + Viktorija Gečytė on their Spring Fever Tour (Gotrio.com), first at Two Rivers Brewing and then at The Lafayette Bar, Home of the World’s Greatest P.A., this Sunday morning 5 a.m. finds me breathing the sugary air from Easton Baking seeping through the open window—god, I’d like to wallow my face in box of glazed doughnuts—and staring at “Dong Fang” and “Beach at Cozumel” and trying to decipher the scribbled pages of my reviewer’s notebook. Mostly I’m singing “C’est si bon.”

This was the first song of their first set both nights, and those three little words sum up Gene Perla, Sean Gough, and Doug Hirlinger, bass, piano, and drums respectively, in suit and tie, shoes shined, instrument cases stashed in the corner, helpless beneath Two River’s two-headed oscillating ceiling fan blowing page after page of their sheet music off the stands, hoping the kitchen will still be open during the break and they can grab a bite to eat; C’est si bon says everything they want from music.


For, just as the tune begins with the most gentle downward push of an f to an e to an e-flat, a mere slip of a whole step that backs into a slippery c-minor already on its slow, smooth, sighing way to B-flat, the tune’s true key; just as the melody backs into itself—and it is good, just like the title says, no?—so The Go Trio backs into each song, confident, no tricks, simply yielding. And if the whole thing flops, well, get up and try again tomorrow—but this time: don’t flop. (See why mastery is so difficult? And while we’re in these parentheses: Yielding to what? Love? You don’t live with an art and not have moments of doughnut—what a typo!—moments of doubt, of suddenly being up to here with it, hating it, dreading doing the only thing that soothes you. So far as these two nights with The Go Trio are concerned, damned if I heard any trouble in paradise; I mean, there were no disconnects. And when everything clicks and you are the bass, you are the piano, you are the drums–who has time to “plot your coordinates”? You feel so free. Maybe that’s how music started: the urge to feel free. This goes as well for trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, who sat in with the group at Saturday night’s show at The Lafayette, and knocked out solo after solo.)


There, scrawled on the inside cover of the notebook, just after “Whangpoo on Wheatstone Bridge” and “Slope Fields [Joyce]” and “soaked kids and soaked mother, everybody’s feet tangled up, arguing over the umbrella in the downpour”; there’s what I need to describe the singer: the snippet about the wet Cadillac under the streetlight.


Viktorija Gečytė (guh-CHEETAH) has a voice like a great big champagne-colored Brougham d’Elegance. New tires. Chrome wheels with no rust on the spokes.  A range that gets eight miles to the gallon, tops—but what eight miles.


“Blue Skies.” “Honeysuckle Rose.” “We’ll Be Together Again.” She hit every note in its resonant center, kept her phrasing just at cruising power and sang long lines, some clear, some in shadow. And what a moment when she’d stamp her gladiator sandal on the downbeat to start a blues. But “C’est si bon” was the song for me. For those of you about to swoon, she salutes you with It’s so good/ to whisper sweet words/Little nothings/But little nothings that can be said again and again.


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