Friday, June 26, 2015

Trio Novo: Never Say Goodbye, Say Ciao!

The Last Trio Novo Show
July 14, 2015
@ Chateau Rieger, Towson, MD



Trio Novo's farewell gig at Chateau Rieger

Trio Novo is:
Paul Rieger: Rickenbacker bass guitar
Robert "Bob" Tiefenwerth: Yamaha keyboards
Tim Taormino: drums

Sunday, July 14th marked the last live performance of Trio Novo. The trio's swan song concert took place at Chateau Rieger in Towson, where friends and family gathered to say farewell to the genre-defying band that may have been Baltimore's Best Kept Musical Secret over the past decade. With keyboard whiz Robert Tiefenwerth and his wife relocating to Houston, Texas, two days later, Trio Novo is no more. To paraphrase Monty Python and a certain dead parrot, Trio Novo has ceased to exist, ceased to be, expired,  kicked the bucket, shuffled off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. This is an ex-Trio Novo.

Departing keyboardist Robert Tiefenwerth is already fading from view in this picture


But, hope springs eternal that the band will utilize the borderless Internet to collaborate on future projects virtually. So, as King of Bling Liberace once sang, "Never Say Goodbye, Say Ciao!"





Formed in 2006, Trio Novo - keyboardist Robert Tiefenwerth, bassist Paul Rieger, and ex-BLAMMO drummer Tim Tourmino - played a variety of what they called "classic jazz" and featured the music of such composers as bossa nova legend Antonio Jobim, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, and Herbie Hancock, among others. But as the band progressed, their setlist reflected an even more eclectic repetoire, adding Martin Denny exotica ("Quiet Village"),  '60s psychedelia (after all, Tiefenwerth and Rieger were veterans of the '80s neo-psych band The United States of Existence), '70s Prog Rock (The Nice's still-epic "America"), secret agent TV theme songs (Edwin Astley's "High Wire," aka "The Danger Man Theme" - the UK series predecessor to Secret Agent Man), and straight up rock & roll (Small Faces, "Barefoot in Baltimore" by Strawberry Alarm Clock, et al).

Paul Rieger (far left) and Robert Tiefenwerth (far right) in U.S.E.

Trio Novo's Dynamic Duo today: Bob Tiefenwerth and Paul Rieger


At Paul Rieger's stately West Towson manor, Chateau Rieger, the trio played all of the above and more to an appreciative crowd of family and music friend fans whose ranks included Dave Wilcox (Chelsea Graveyard), Mark O'Connor (Buck Subtle, OHO, Food For Worms, et al), and WCVT/WVUD DJ Rod Misey (incidentally, Misey's liner notes for The United States of Existence's 1994 CD The Collection provide the definitive history of that band and are worthy of publication in Ugly Things magazine).

A highlight of Trio Novo's farewell performance was their rendition of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," a snippet of which is shown below.

Watch Trio Novo play "Take Five."




Over the years, the trio had enjoyed supporting the local arts (Tiefenewerth is an accomplished artist, as well as musician, and even sold a greeting card on FineArtAmerica.com) and non-profit communities by providing music for events held at Center Stage, Gallery G, the Visionary Art Museum, and the HACbox. And they were supposed to play at the Hamilton Arts Collective this past May, but had to cancel due to the city curfew imposed following the death, in police custody, of Freddie Gray. (But a gig's a gig, and trouper Tiefenwerth posted on social media that he would be playing piano at home alone that night, just as the Baltimore Orioles would be playing the Chicago White Sox in an empty Camden Yards.)


"How's this thing work again?" Robert Tiefenwerth keys off with Trio Novo


Unfortunately, few Trio Novo performances have been captured on video. A Google search turns up only a September 2014 Trio Novo performance at the Hamilton Gallery (5502 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214) in Northeast Baltimore - that is, they provide the soundtrack to a clip showing highlights from that night's gallery show.






Trio Novo at Hamilton Gallery

And Paul Rieger, Esq., recorded their May 24, 2014 performance for Band Bash 2014: "You're With the Band!", (a private party for "friends, families and others who have suffered through the hardships of repetitive rehearsals, frightening feedback and decor-destroying equipment" over the years with the GOHOG-Toys bands) at Heritage Parkville Gardens Hall in the Parkville Shopping Center. So, there is archival footage of this great band out there (hint, hint, Paul!)


Paul Rieger paints a pretty picture on his Rickenbacker

There may not be a lot of video footage of Trio Novo, but they did record two CDs, one of which (Tribute) you can check out of the Enoch Pratt Free Library's "Local Music" collection (wonder how that happened?).

So while the Novo we all know is no more, the Trio's legacy lives on. Remember: Never Say Goodbye, Say Ciao!

Related Links:

See Robert Tiefenwerth's Art @ FineArtAmerica
Balto Band Bash 2014
United States of Existence @ Discogs.com
United States of Existence on YouTube
BLAMMO - "Sweet Home Balt-Amore"


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