"Drop Trio - Instrumental, Funk, Jazz" is the description on www.droptrio.com but I would throw in jam music, psychedelic rock, space music, funk again and funk one more time for James Brown. It's definately instrumental. And I'm no jazz aficionado, although I have been to more than a few Jazzfests, so I'm not sure what acid jazz is, other than a description from their bio, but the music of Houston's own Drop Trio sounds pretty jazzy to me too.

Ian Varley commands the Rhodes piano and the Hammond B3 with taste and zeal. He makes trippy sounds and beautiful melodies. Ian earned a degree in music composition and theory from Skidmore College. His performances have included stints with rock bands, straight jazz combos, a cappella groups, and atonal metal bands. He has worked as an arranger, composer, publisher, choir director and performer on all three coasts. He's also a helluva nice guy.

Mike "The Nuje" Blattel on drums lays in the pocket like a lucky penny. The Nuje is a long time veteran of the Houston scene. In 2002, after years of trying to form a groove-oriented band, he finally found Ian on JazzHouston.com and started Drop Trio, leaving the successful rock band Southern Backtones to do it.

Newcomer Patrick Flanagan finesses his bass, coaxing up notes then pounding them back down again. He takes over duties from Nino Batista who stepped down not too long ago when he was blessed with a new baby girl Pennie Layne Batista. Patrick is a native of Denton, Texas and grew up in Fort Worth. He studied Spanish and music as a Rice undergrad, and got his J.D. from the UH Law Center. Patrick joined forces with Drop Trio in the spring of 2004. A trial lawyer by day, this man is so funky that even criminals are scared of him.

Drop Trio plays jazz & rock clubs, coffee shops and festivals throughout Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Interest in the band is widespread as Drop Trio has thousands of fans across the nation and abroad. I've seen these guys a couple times at the Houston Press Music Awards Showcases and it's definately a groovin' good time for all wherever they play. Go see them at one of the dates below, you never know you might catch me there trying to figure out what this acid jazz stuff is all about. ~ mlandrum

Dec 3 2004
Funk Jazz Fridays at Brasil
2604 Dunlavy @ Westheimer
10:00 PM - FREE - All Ages
(713) 528-1993

Dec 11 2004
The Vortex
2930 11th Street
Beaumont, TX 77709

Listen to a clip of The Big SO from Leap or hear live sets at their new Live Music Archive.

The new release from Drop Trio can be had at my favorite record store Cactus Music & Video or online either at the Drop Trio web site or my favorite local online radio site OutboundMusic.Com.


Ian Varley has also taken over the duties of The Houston Music Roundtable every Tuesday starting at 6pm at Under The Volcano and has done a terrific job bringing people together with informal discussions and seminars by entertainment industry professionals, press and musicians. I can't get out there as often as I would like but it's always fun and informative.

Under the Volcano
2315 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 526-5282

images and bio info courtesy http://droptrio.com.

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