Modern piano trio and improvised music from Santa Fe, New Mexico
A kodama is a forest sprite in Japanese folklore. They are said to be found in groups, especially in the mountains, and they are associated with everything from good fortune to outright mischief.
Kodama Trio is a group from Santa Fe, New Mexico, featuring three leading New Mexico improvisers. We perform spontaneous compositions, original music and inspired interpretations of classic songs.
After years of crossing musical paths under a variety of circumstances, drummer Milton Villarrubia, bassist Jeremy Bleich, and pianist Robert Muller realized that our musical chemistry deserved further exploration. Our first recording sessions were followed quickly by regular performances at the original Second Street Brewery.
We have since performed all over Albuquerque, Taos and Santa Fe, including appearances at the storied Outpost Performance Space and with renowned Mvskoke poet/musician Joy Harjo at the 2015 Globalquerque festival.
Our self-produced debut CD won 2016 New Mexico Music Awards for best jazz CD and best jazz single.
Kodama’s much-anticipated seasonal holiday shows are influenced by Vince Guaraldi’s beloved holiday music, walking an enjoyable line between honoring cherished childhood classics and pushing them into new territory.
…When Jeremy Bleich (bass), Milton Villarubia (drums) and Robert Muller (keys) join forces to play some of that sweet, sweet Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas music—plus jazzy takes on other popular holiday tunes—it’s worth it alone to show up and see how they’ll arrange them. In other words, these dudes is talented. It’s also become a bit of a Christmas tradition at Second Street Brewery, and the perfect answer for those who’ve yet to get into the spirit of things.
Santa Fe Reporter
The music is jazz as a verb, not as a style — human beings connecting with each other and interacting, with conversations that don’t always ending quite as expected.
Kodama Trio’s debut album is an excellent exposition of original jazz music. Some of the album flourishes on the more abstract end of the jazz spectrum, which may be difficult for those new to the genre, but novices will find more accessible pieces, if they wait for them. Aficionados, however, may be surprised that a record as fabulous as this lives in Santa Fe. This record features three distinctive songwriting styles, which give it an engaging ebb and flow, and the ensemble’s musicianship is demonstrably stellar. The recording captures some of the frenetic energy that is inherent to the live improvisational performance of jazz.
Santa Fe Reporter