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EL TRIO

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Dominican Republic


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El Trio biography
EL TRIO is a Dominican rock band formed by JONAS (guitar and voice), drummer Pablo PENA (later replaced by Johandy URENA) and bass player Kilvin PENA. Their music is rock that expands into fusion and prog-like territories without straying too far from the song form. They put a strong emphasis in composition, songwriting, improvisation and melding their musical heritage with foreign influences.

Main references: SODA STEREO, SOUNDGARDEN, Luis DIAS, KING CRIMSON, SCREAMING HEADLESSS TORSOS, Fito PAEZ, Peter GABRIEL, Juan Luis GUERR. They also owe a lot to the classic power trio sound of bands like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM.

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EL TRIO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EL TRIO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón...
2007
3.52 | 4 ratings
La Blanca Y La Gris
2009
3.98 | 6 ratings
Las Manos
2013

EL TRIO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Leña!!! En Vivo
2014

EL TRIO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Leña!!! En Vivo
2014

EL TRIO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Balance
2017

EL TRIO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

EL TRIO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón... by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.33 | 3 ratings

BUY
Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón...
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars EL TRIO is a interesting case of a jazz-rock coming from the Dominican Republic where Latin dance music such as merengue, bachata and salsa are very much the dominant musical force with newer more hip styles like reggaeton entertaining the younger crowds. This is a three-piece band that originated in Santiago de los Caballeros which in the northern part of the country. As the moniker suggests in Spanish that this is indeed a trio that includes singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonatan Piña Duluc (aka Jonas) along with Kilvin Peña (bass) and Johandy Ureña (drums).

This band formed all the way back in 2003 and has only released three albums since with this debut album SIEMPRE QUE HAY UN CORAZÓN (Whenever There Is A Heart) having been released in 2007 on Progshine Records. While situated in the Latin culture where progressive rock and jazz-fusion are not the most popular of genres, EL TRIO eked out a living in the underground mostly influenced by the American and British scenes but didn't totally erase the cultural heritage which surrounded them by adding in small doses of Latin flavors and keeping the lyrics in the national Spanish language.

SIEMPRE QUE HAY UN CORAZÓN adopts the Latin tradition of keeping the album light-hearted and a joyful listening experience and when listening to this one it's not a stretch to imagine yourself on the beach gazing at the Caribbean Sea with a nice adult beverage by your side. While more jazz-rock than jazz-fusion per se, EL TRIO mostly delivers gentle vocal driven songs that hum along with funky guitar rhythms along with the bass however knotty progressive rock time signature deviations pop up from time to time and add some zest to the otherwise straight forward jazz rockers. In fact the overall sound is more bossa nova oriented than anything from the Spanish speaking world.

The strength of the album is in how the compositions are arranged with light breezy segments alternating with heavier rock and fortified with jazzy saxophones, atmospheric keyboards and oft syncopated rhythmic grooves. For the most part the album doesn't resonate as a progressive rock album at all but then certain angularities arise out of nowhere. Occasionally Latin influences do creep in like outbursts of Latin percussion ensembles or Spanish language vocal gymnastics. This is definitely on prog lite mode but doesn't disappoint for those who dig a different style of music form that blends different disparate genres across the great divide of cultures.

Clocking in at nearly an hour, SIEMPRE QUE HAY UN CORAZÓN inevitably drifts on past its time and outstays its welcome and beings to sound like a chore around the 40 minute mark as the tracks start sounding a bit samey as the formula is set on autopilot. This is definitely an interesting debut that forges a new path especially in a country not associated with prog at all such as the Dominican Republic. I for one am pleased that the Latin influences creep in to give the musical variety much more color however when all is said and done this one should've been trimmed down a bit with tighter arrangements that give the album more of a cohesive feel rather than a random sampling of songs. A great start for an interesting act and as good as this one is fails to captivate for its entire running time. Perhaps more prog outbursts would've spiced this up a bit more.

3.5 rounded down

 Leña!!! En Vivo by TRIO, EL album cover Live, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Leña!!! En Vivo
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars This is the band's first live album, and it was originally self-released by the band as a DVD in September 2014, and has now been released as a digital album by Progshine. Away from the studio, with no additional musicians, here we find El Trio acting far more in the style associated with bands such as Cream. The guitar is right at the front of the mix, Jonatan's vocals are packed with emotion, while Johandy and Kilvin keep it all locked down. What is interesting for me is that Kilvin is still playing a fretless bass in the live environment, but what he lacks in attack he more than makes up for in emotion.

This is obviously where El Trio really come to life, far more than in the studio, and this music has a far rougher edge with less of the Caribbean and South American influences and far more straight ahead hard rock with jazz and blues elements combined with psychedelia. They somehow manage to channel Blue Cheer during this performance, it is that fuzzed, distorted and aggressive. Recorded in Santiago, it would be good for the band to be able to break out of their geographical territory as music as strong and vibrant as this deserves to be heard everywhere. I may have no idea what they are singing about, but I do know that I enjoyed this immensely and I know that many others would as well if they heard it. Hopefully these reissues from Progshine will find the band gaining interest from new territories, and it will be interesting to hear where they go to from here.

 Las Manos by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 6 ratings

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Las Manos
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars

This 2013 release saw the same line-up as the last one, but an even more extended list of guest musicians as the band continued to expand their musical styles. This is easily the most powerful album of the three, as the band mix jazz with hard rock, fusion, progressive styles, blues and Caribbean stylings to create something that really works. To my ears, it is also the first time where Jonatan's vocals play a positive role as he seems to have a far better idea of what will work best with the instrumentation, moving between a rough hard-edged gruff style and falsetto where it is the right place to do it.

There is a palpable confidence on the album, perhaps due in some part to reaching their tenth anniversary as a band and for making it through to their third album. I know very little (okay, nothing) about the music scene in the Dominican Republic, but I would guess that by the time of this release El Trio were very well known indeed. The album was still recorded in their home country but was mixed in the States, and the sound quality is spot on. If you are intrigued to understand what El Trio are doing, then this is the album to start with, as it is well worth it.

 La Blanca Y La Gris by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.52 | 4 ratings

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La Blanca Y La Gris
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars

Two years on from the debut, and El Trio were back with their second album 'La Blanca Y La Gris' (The white and the grey). I tend to play albums initially through iTunes, and this was the first one of theirs that I heard as it was the first one to appear in the playlist due to where the title appeared in the alphabet. What this meant was that I managed to treat myself to possibly the worst introduction to the band, as while the jazz rock is forceful with a huge input of blues, along with South American influences, it is also the one where the vocals jar most for me. Jonatan has a vocal style that seems to either work very well and is totally in keeping with the music or isn't working at all, and when it is the latter it is quite painful.

But, he more than makes up for it with some great guitarwork again. There was a line-up change between the two albums, as drummer Pablo Peña had departed to be replaced by Johandy Ureña. They also brought in an additional percussionist, as well as a guest guitarist on one number and a guest trombonist on another. The music is more forceful than the debut, and is a real progression as they have expanded but to my ears it would have been better either as an instrumental release or with a different vocalist.

 Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón... by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.33 | 3 ratings

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Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón...
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars El Trio is a jazz rock fusion trio from Dominican Republic, formed in 2003 by Jonatan Pi'a Duluc (vocals, guitar, keyboard, saxophone, producer), Kilvin Pe'a (bass, backing vocals) and Pablo Pe'a (drums, backing vocals). 'Siempre Que Hay Un Coraz'n...' (Whenever there is a heart) was their debut album, original released in 2007 and now digitally reissued in 2017 by Progshine Records. As far as I'm aware, this is the first band I have heard from the Dominican Republic, but music really doesn't have any boundaries, and this in Jonatan they have a quite outstanding guitarist, who can shred with the best of them.

It is obvious that Kilvin is playing a fretless bass, which allows for some real warmth and depth, while his relationship with Pablo is incredibly strong. For me the songs that really work are those without such a high South American feel to them, as these move more to the mainstream. Also, Jonatan is an okay singer, but nothing more than that and I personally would have liked to have heard more passages where he is leading proceedings with his sterling guitarwork. Given that this was a self-release the production is strong, and I can see why Progshine Records have decided to make this available once again.

 Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón... by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.33 | 3 ratings

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Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón...
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars El Trio is a Jazz Rock/Prog trio from Dominican Republic. The band is formed by Jonatan Piña Duluc (vocals, guitars and saxophones), Kilrin Peña (bass) and Johandy Ureña (drums).

Siempre Que Hay Un Corazón... (Whenever there is a heart) is their first album and it was self released on 2007.

For me is amazing to listen to a band like El Trio and to realize that superb music doesn't need to come from USA or England. In fact I know that, but to be reassured of that is always good. It's also amazing to me how good the band was for a first recording, giving that they took 2 years to complete the recordings this just goes to show. Also, the overal quality of the recording is top notch!

I don't like the term Latin Jazz, I think it is useless as a tag for music, but I cannot deny the fact that El Trio has Latin moments. If in one side they can be very edgy and Rock like in 'Crisálida' on the very next track the Latin flavour appears in 'Como Un Mensaje' and also on the mix of Jazz and Latin music of 'Otro Muerto'.

Overall an amazing debut album and you can take a look on their Bandcamp page to prove: eltrio.bandcamp.com/

 Las Manos by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 6 ratings

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Las Manos
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The Dominician Republic isn't the spot in the world you'd first start thinking about when pondering upon rock music, but this is the certified home of EL TRIO. For just over 10 years the band has performed and recorded their particular brand of rock music there, and over the years three full length albums have been released by this fine threesome. "Las Manos" from 2013 is the most recent of these, and was self released by the band in the summer of 2013.

El Trio's third studio production "Las Manos" comes across as a compelling affair, their Latin flavored blend of hard psychedelic-tinged rock, jazz rock and fusion one performed with an ease and elegance that documents a very capable band unit. As the touch of jazz rock and fusion runs like a thematic thread throughout, potential buyers need to have a taste for music of that variety, and those amongst them who also enjoy their fair share of harder edged riffs with psychedelic touches should find this album to be on that merits a closer inspection.

 Las Manos by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 6 ratings

BUY
Las Manos
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars El Trio (as the name in Spanish tells us) is a Prog/Jazz Rock trio from a place that probably many of you have never heard of: Dominican Republic.

A little bit of geography now: Dominican Republic is located in Central America next to Haiti and Puerto Rico.

El Trio is formed by Jonatan Pi'a Duluc (vocals, guitars and saxophones), Kilrin Pe'a (bass) and Johandy Ure'a (drums). But on Las Manos (2013), their third album, they also had many other musicians helping them to shape their sophisticated sound with percussions, acoustic guitars, flute and backing vocals.

First of all, Las Manos (2013) has a delicious Latin approach, and the lyrics in Spanish just made the album better and different than the everyday English Prog bands. Second, the album is almost completely Jazz Rock with Latin Jazz influences.

Right on track one 'Desconectar' (one of my favorites) you can feel their unique blend of styles. Latin Rock united with Jazz Rock and everything packed with astonishing musicianship. On Las Manos (2013) Jonatan wrote with many different styles without sounding too force, thanks to the band's clever arrangements. 'Tanto Amor', 'Buenas Noches' and 'Ojo Artificial' just confirm what I have just said. All different comoared to each other but with the band's sound on them. On top of everything, Jonatan's voice is absolutely great! But, for me, it's no surprise to see such an 'unknown' band with that high quality. They've been playing together for over 10 years. This only tells me that you can never get anything for granted just because you were born in England, USA or whatever else. You just have to be REALLY good!

And when you think you had heard everything the band could offer they bring on 'Canci'n Sin Nombre'. A weird and wonderful mix of Latin unconventional beats with Fusion. Can you imagine that? 'Canterbule Pt. III' reminds me a bit of Caravan and Soft Machine and I think that was exactly the intention here.

'Reir Pa No Llorar' is another Latin influenced song but with a twist, heavy riffs and a catchy melody. 'No Somo Indio' (We're Not Indians) sounds like a statement to me. Very often the world tends to see South American and Spanish speaking countries in the wrong way. Being a Brazilian myself I completely understand that. El Trio is trying to let the world know the truth with a very heavy track.

Closing the album we follow with the heavy track (but mixed with some Jazz) 'Uanabi' and the ballad 'Fuentes'. This last one would do great in any Rock Radio in the world (at least the ones that were not bought by record labels).

Las Manos (2013) is a great surprise to my ears! El Trio was able to record a great album with excellent musicianship, great production and astonishing and inspired compositions. And what's best, with a great and wide variety of influences and yet having unity. Open your mind (and ears) to the great sounds, doesn't matter from where they come from!

Highly recommended!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

 La Blanca Y La Gris by TRIO, EL album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.52 | 4 ratings

BUY
La Blanca Y La Gris
El Trio Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Strong follow up album by this band from the Dominican Republic. And one striding across quite a few stylistic boundaries to boot.

The main ingredients throughout are fusion and psychedelic rock though, with rhythms taking on jazz-tinged as well as Latin-American touches while the guitars to some extent also underscores the fusion leanings. The six-strings tends to settle on the more psychedelic parts of this band's expression though, with lazy, echoing guitar licks as a pretty common denominator throughput. Add in some heavier art rock passages and one instance of punk meeting psychedelia, and compositions mostly on the quirky side in construction, and the end result is a pretty eclectic take on the progressive rock genre. And one of a rather high quality as well.

Spanish vocals with a slightly melodramatic delivery will probably be the main restraining element for this band, but those who isn't negatively affected by this aspect of El Trio's performance should find this album to be pretty intriguing. As long as the blend of fusion and psychedelia comes across as interesting obviously.

Thanks to Evolver for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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