OM Trio was a jazz/rock band that toured extensively in the US from 1999-2004 and released five albums. Their style of music was dubbed "Elevator Music for Headbangers" and "Instru-metal Jazz/Rock," reflecting their penchant for the heavier side of electric improvised music. The band's primary touring years were 2001-2004, when they shared the stage with artists such as Tower of Power, John Scofield, Umphrey's McGee, Joshua Redman, Wayne Krantz, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and others.
The band was started by Brian Felix (keyboards), Ilya Stemkovsky (drums), and Daniel Fusco (bass), all New Jersey natives that relocated to Southern Oregon. The band released three albums with Fusco: The Clarified Butter, Jazz Trio and Meat Curtain. In 2000 the group relocated to the SF Bay Area and fellow New Jerseyan Pete Novembre replaced Fusco on bass.
During their tenure, the trio performed regularly in all the major US markets and at several high profile festivals. The group released two albums with Novembre: Live (2001) and the critically acclaimed Globalpositioningrecord (2003). The group disbanded in December of 2004. They reunited for shows with Umprhey's McGee at the Fillmore Auditorum in SF in February of 2008. In addition to the five albums, the group left behind a trove of live recordings including the two DVD set Pummeling Angle (2016), which features eight hours of live and behind-the-scenes footage.
Defunct San Francisco-based electric jazz-rock band OM Trio has revealed an upcoming archival live DVD release. The 2-DVD set entitled Pummeling Angle comes out this Friday, December 9. OM Trio members Ilya Stemkovsky, Brian Felix and Pete Novembre dug into their video vault to curate the nearly eight hours of live performances mixed with scenes from the road and in the studio. Recorded in the years preceding their 2004 breakup, included in the live concert footage are guest appearances by members of Umphrey’s McGee, guitarist David “Fuze” Fiuczynski and others.
From Modern Drummer:
An all-access pass to tour vans, cheap motels, festival stages, and the fruits and frustrations inherent in being a traveling band. OM Trio was never as much about the notes as the vibe—really more of an instrumental trance-dub dance band than a “fusion” group. These eight hours of footage taken between 2000 and 2008 provide ample proof of the group’s commitment to its music, and of the groove-making prowess of Ilya Stemkovsky. The drummer (and regular MDcontributor) is equally attentive to drive and dynamics, while also open-minded and creative; he’s often the instigator as well as the generator. OM Trio got tight, developed great trust, and—as heard in the various versions of “24 Hours to New Orleans” here, from the High Sierra Festival, Tribeka Rock Club, 32 Bleu, and the Alley—worked hard to keep evolving. (Slim Trim) - Robin Tolleson
Want to purchase a copy of Pummeling Angle? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Post Review:
Sunday, August 24, 2003; Page N02
OM Trio is a Medeski, Martin & Wood that rawks. Here's a keys-bass-drums trio that brazenly stomps into concerts playing a Rage Against the Machine cover, then closes with a charging, irony-free version of Guns N'Roses' "Paradise City" as fist-waving fans scream the chorus. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, OM Trio pumps out "elevator music for headbangers," a brand of electric jazz that relies on dynamics, rhythmic drive and melodic mischief. On the band's fifth album, keyboardist Brian Felix, bassist Pete Novembre and drummer Ilya Stemkovsky concoct trippy, deadly-infectious studio bursts: Most songs are two to four minutes long, guided by Felix's reverberating, space-alien organ.There's a sonic cohesiveness, whether OM Trio is kicking out sinewy funk, oozing hypnotic trance or dabbling in minimalist atmospherics. When the ambient groove of "(Hedd)" is followed seamlessly by the cranium-crusher "Drop Q" (aided by a dirty-good guest guitarist), your lip instinctively curls into a "man-this-is-so-wicked!" snarl.The molten core of OM Trio is its relentless, blue-collar rhythm section: Novembre's evil bass lines (and possessed-by-Lucifer stare) and Stemkovsky's drum assault (and soaked System of a Down T-shirt). The album winds down with a hidden-track cover of Living Colour's "Cult of Personality," augmented by showy bursts of chop-shop jazz fusion. For the uninitiated, that's a taste of OM Trio's improv-heavy live shows: Paradise city, indeed.-- Michael Deeds