Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Neil Cowley Trio: The Art
Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim/Southbound)

Among the many reasons to pay attention to, and respect, British pianist Cowley is this: a few years back for a tribute record to the Beatles' "White Album" he did a version of . . . . Revolution 9.

Now those who know that tape slice-up piece might be laughing about now and throwing the word "impossible" into the ether.

But if you care to listen to it, here it is.

I get it. Over to you if you do/don't.

But in the more real world, Cowley is one of the pre-eminent British jazz artists of his generation and in the past we've been intermittently impressed by him.

This new album -- released a couple of months ago I understand, but who's in a rush for jazz? -- finds him at his best when it comes to almost emotionally exasperating and chest-grabbing tension-release (Sparkling) as well as offering delightfully off-kilter ballads (Gang of One, Bryce which is especially beautiful).

MIssion is a brooding film-noir piece and alludes back to Cowley's previous work in this area . . . but with more gravitas in its elemental darkness.

Neil Cowley has been around long enough to be considered as a mid-career artist (which presumes longevity of life and work), but for the first time I get the impression he has made a real leap ahead in terms of space in his playing, less of a desire to impress and being the better for that, and writing pieces (like the distinctive Queen here which could be orchestraed or solo) that have real depth.

If piano jazz from someone coming at angle is your thing, this is one is really worth investing in. The Art at the end closes the deal.

Touch and Flee will return big dividends. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

Few statements about music can be delivered unequivocally, but here's one: Edward Kennedy Ellington was one of the greatest composers of last century. And of all time. And no discussion need be... > Read more

Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber Fusion: Eleven (Concord/Southbound)

Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber Fusion: Eleven (Concord/Southbound)

Guitarist Mike Stern is the man Miles Davis fans loved to hate. Probably even today. That was because he brought the hard rock textures – which Davis wanted – to Miles' band at... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BADFINGER and HARRY NILSSON: Without them, no Without You

BADFINGER and HARRY NILSSON: Without them, no Without You

Behind most hit songs -- perhaps even behind many songs -- there can be an interesting story. As songwriters tell us in the Famous Elsewhere Songwriting Questionnaire, very few songs dropped fully... > Read more

CHER CONCERT REVIEW (2018): Stop the clocks . . .

CHER CONCERT REVIEW (2018): Stop the clocks . . .

You have to admire Cher, she might not be able to turn back time but she can certainly freeze iconic moments from her illustrious past. Take the closing overs of this 100 minute... > Read more