Friday, 3 February 2012

Review: Neil Cowley Trio

Neil Cowley Trio – The Face Of Mount Molehill (Naim Jazz)
Filed without mercy under ‘jazz’, therefore destined to be deemed ‘too difficult’ by a sizeable proportion of the record buying public, much like Bill Wells, Neil Cowley has much to offer the contemporary rock and pop fan.

The trio of Neil Cowley on piano and keyboards, Rex Horan on bass and Evan Jenkins on drums are a strictly instrumental combo, yet they display a playfulness which can in turns be epic and spacious or equally claustrophobic and a trifle disconcerting. For proof of the former give “Hope Machine” a spin, the Radiohead-esque ambition is breathtaking. As for the latter, have a go with “Mini Ha Ha” Built around a snippet of baby laughter – indeed Cowley’s own offspring – it veers from gentle and amusing to uncomfortable and downright unsettling with consummate ease. It’s already found its way to the top of my iPod weekly playlist; so number one somewhere in the world – I think we can send a certificate…
Simon M.

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