The Chance Trio
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The Chance Trio

Band Jazz Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"The Chance Trio"

I really dig this CD, - enjoy the elasticity provided by the absence of a drummer, as it frees the three of you up to play around each other in really nice ways. Good balance between freedom and structure; definitely an influence of rock/pop music in there. Just really thoughtful, intelligent playing, with plenty of space and restraint, rather than all-out blowing.
- Shaun Brady - Philly City Paper

"The Chance Trio - Marnee Birds"

Trumpeter Bart Miltenberger, guitarist Matt Davis, and bassist Michael Taylor form an unusual and striking trio. This drum-free conglomeration feels at times like a street band in some Mediterranean capital, albeit one with a thorough mainstream and free-jazz grounding.

All three have been hard-core Philly cats. Miltenberger and Davis both imbibed the wisdom of the late Dennis Sandole, who taught the youthful John Coltrane, and Davis and Taylor studied at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University.

Their collaboration slips into some extended free moments that no doubt limit their commercial appeal and sometimes get nerve-racking. But something simple and important often passes among them. "Freddie Diddley" is a sassy tune that rocks in this acoustic setting.

- Karl Stark
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"TINY DOUGLAS - The Chance Trio - Marnee Birds"

This self-produced debut owes more than a little to the broadminded ethos of Dave Douglas, whose Tiny Bell Trio started out with similar aims. Taking the Douglas role here is Bart Miltenberger, whose horn can likewise cover the distance between plaintive full tones and chirpy half-valve cries. His partners are acoustic guitarist Matt Davis and upright bassist Michael Taylor, alternately serving as a rhythm section and as fellow mischief-makers. They're at their best when dealing with simple, lyrical forms, like Taylor's "Requiem for Virtue" and sections of Miltenberger's "We Love You, Lt. Costillo."

- Nate Chinen - Philadelphia City Paper


The Chance Trio's debut recording is "Marnee Birds"

Three tracks from this cd, "The Freshmaker," "43rd Street" and "Freddie Diddley" have been played on the air on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia. The Chance Trio has also performed live on the air on WPRB 103.3 FM in Princeton.


Feeling a bit camera shy


"An unusual and striking trio" (Philadelphia Inquirer), The Chance Trio is a one-of-a-kind Philadelphia-based acoustic trio that has received praise from the local and national press. Started in 2001 by Bart Miltenberger (trumpet, flugelhorn), Matt Davis (acoustic guitar), and Michael Taylor (upright bass), The Chance Trio has performed their adventurous, passionate, and humorous original compositions all over the Philadelphia area including concerts at the Kimmel Center, the Painted Bride, World Cafe Live, energizing showcases at the 3rd and 4th Collective Voices Festivals, and a long-standing residency at The Highwire Gallery. Influenced by Jazz, Blues, Folk, Rock, and the Avant-garde, The Chance Trio was a featured performer at the 2006 Festival of New Trumpet Music in NYC.

The Chance Trio’s debut album, Marnee Birds, is available in stores and online at,,, and

About the Musicians:

UK-born trumpet player, Bart Miltenberger, whose playing has been called “impressive” by JazzTimes magazine, is a lyrical and melodic player with a warm and beautiful trumpet sound. In addition to The Chance Trio, Bart regularly performs with Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, Aerial Photograph, and Sonic Liberation Front. In August of 2004 and 2005, he was invited by world-renowned trumpet star and composer Dave Douglas to perform in Trumpet Nation under the baton of the legendary conductionist Butch Morris, as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music. In June of 2004 Bart performed with the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra in the Amsterdam world premiere of the opera, Call Me Ishmael. Bart has also performed and/or recorded with such musicians and bands as: Fathead, Edge City Collective, John Legend, Pauline Oliveros, G-Love and Special Sauce, The Digable Planets, Dave Liebman, Tyrone Brown, Farid Barron, Tom Lawton, Ben Schachter, Byard Lancaster, John Swana, and DJ Phillip Charles. Bart studied for three intense years with the Maestro Dennis Sandole (best known as John Coltrane’s teacher) and was an American Composers Forum grant winner in 2003. He was a co-founder and co-presenter of Collective Voices Festivals I–IV (2000-2003). In addition, Bart is a member of Bugles Across America since 2000 - performing TAPS at military funerals.

Guitarist and composer, Matt Davis has been playing and composing music since childhood. Since graduating with honors from Temple University in 2001, Matt composes for and performs with many groups including his 12 piece original project, Aerial Photograph. He has performed with musicians such as Odean Pope, Bobby Zankel (of the Cecil Taylor big band), saxophonist Billy Harper, The Jefferson University Chorus and Orchestra, Calvin Weston (member of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time) members of Sun Ra (Tyrone Hill, Elliott Levin), Terrell Stafford, and Dave Liebman. Matt helped to establish and coordinate the artist based “Collective Voices Jazz Festival” in Philadelphia from 1999 through 2003. He has received grants from the American Composers Forum and has been awarded an Artist in Residence position at the C.E.C Art Center in Philly. Matt has presented guitar/composition master classes at the University of the Arts, as well as high schools and grade schools throughout the Pennsylvania , New Jersey and New York area. He recently completed an Artist In Residencency for the National Parks Service from Buffalo National River Park in Arkansas for the month of September, 2005. Matt currently teaches guitar at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Bassist and composer Michael Taylor has long been a creative force in the Philadelphia music scene. The Philadelphia Weekly describes his passionate, lyrical approach to the bass as having a "smooth toughness." Taylor 's sensitivity and his uncanny ability to always set the appropriate mood have made him a respected musician and exceptionally busy freelancer. He has studied with Mark Helias in addition to studying at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University. He has performed with The Taylor/Madof Group, Minas, Farid Barron, Tom Lawton, Sid Simmons, and Duane Eubanks. In addition to The Chance Trio, Taylor regularly performs with Aerial Photograph, Minas, and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Trio.

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