Amazing trios

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Tord Gustavsen trio!!

Keith Jarrett trio

John Scofield with Bill Stewart

Oz Noy with bass (mostly Will Lee) and drums (Keith Carlock, Anton Fig, Weckl or Vinnie)


Platinum Member
The Police

Jeff Beck w/ Terry Bozzio and Tony Hymas
Tony MacAlpine with Billy Sheehan and Steve Smith


Staff member
It took 5 posts before Rush was mentioned. Blasphemers! I thought this was a drummers forum!
Yes, I like Rush very much. They're a big part of my early musical journey, but other trios are available, apparently.


Platinum Member
Early (1970s) Elton John with the great Nigel Olsson on drums and Dee Murray on bass. The 11-17-70 album is evidence.

Then you have the Ben Folds Five (really 3) who modeled themselves off of the above..


Senior Member
john mayer trio!! great chemistry between those 3...they just need to come out with more new songs! dying to hear more from them


Platinum Member
I was hoping for new groups ... don't need to be told about great trios like Jimi, SRV or Police or dull and grating groups like Rush *snicker*

Jeff Beck's band isn't a trio. It's a four piece. You left out Jason Rebello who plays keyboards.
Thanks. Doh! Yes, some poor hidden sod who's been told to blend in and fatten up the sounds. When I watched that vid I was looking for a keys player and figured that the person was out the side of the stage. Then I forgot about it entirely lol

I personally consider bands like Led Zeppelin to be trios because, instrumentally speaking, they are. There is nothing they could do that a skilled 3 piece band with one member doubling on vocals couldn't.

Most of the music that I really like is made by three piece bands.
True. Still, dedicated singers tend to leave a bigger mark on the music than instrumentalist singers. They have to, or they'd be twiddling their thumbs :)

I love small bands - much more intimate and free, though it's trading off colour, stage presence and an extra set of ears. On the plus side, there's less chance of being bland and muddled through "committee" decisions.

Early (1970s) Elton John with the great Nigel Olsson on drums and Dee Murray on bass. The 11-17-70 album is evidence.

Then you have the Ben Folds Five (really 3) who modeled themselves off of the above..
Didn't know Elt had a trio. It makes sense. He's such a force he could easily fill the sound.

Gov't Mule (check out Matt Abts on drums)
Jimi Hendrix Experience (Mitch Mitchell)
I've only seen Govt Mule as a quartet. Fantastic performance by them, including Matt Abts in this one:


Well-known member
Here's some of my favorites:
  • Bill Evans Trio - with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian
  • Bill Evans Trio - with bassist Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera on drums
  • Chick Corea Album - Now He Sings Now He Sobs with Roy Haynes & Miroslav Vitous
  • Ahmad Jamal's Trios
  • Oscar Peterson's Trios
  • Pat Metheny's Trios with Antonio Sanchez
  • Sonny Clark Trio with Paul Chambers & Philly Joe Jones
  • Ray Brown's Trios
The Ed Simon trio is amazing. I wish they played more. Simon's Criss Cross record "The Process" with Eric Harland on drums is worth a listen as well.

I'm very glad people are showing some love to the Scofield trio with Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart. That's a great group.

Stewart is also great playing trio with Peter Bernstein and Larry Goldings. They have several excellent recordings together.

John Abercrombie is one of my favorite musicians, the trio with Johnson and Erskine is good, but I prefer the trio on "Straight Flight". George Mraz is on bass and Peter Donald is on drums. Peter Donald is so overlooked. "Straight Flight" is hard to find though.

The Gateway Trio with Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette is groundbreaking. All of their albums are worth checking out.

The Abercrombie organ trio with Adam Nussbaum on drums and Dan Wall on organ put out some nice stuff in the 90's on ECM.

And I will put in a strong endorsement of the early Gov't Mule trio stuff with Allen Woody and Matt Abts. That is some amazing rock music that covers a great deal of ground stylistically, exploring lots of forms and influences while maintaining a "power trio" identity. Great Band.