Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Neil Cowley Trio Touch and Flee Naim 2014

The Neil Cowley Trio goes deep with the harmonic long ball and drives home a winner!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
A rhythmic pulse and syncopated melodic flow that draws from rock influences and pop styles has pushed The Neil Cowley Trio to the top as one of the most adventurous piano trios working today.
 
 So now what?
 
Neil Cowley is as artistically adventurous as he is technically proficient so Touch and Flee flips the script and moves to a deeper more introspective feel that is firmly anchored in the rich color palette that would seem to be the Trio's calling card. A dialed down exploratory of subtle textured nuances has Neil Cowley showing his skill sets run far deeper than what some have imagined. The land of rhythm and groove still remains as a deceptively subtle sophistication smolders just beneath the surface of some of his finest compositions to date. Intimacy does not have to be predictable and Neil Cowley's creative muse is just that, an irreverent sense of melodic spirit that still pushes the harmonic envelope but never the listener over the edge of the improvisational cliff.
 
I'm not digging the cover art as it is creepy and makes little sense when compared to the music. Perhaps that is the point...after all this is not an ECM recording. Maybe the eclectic dichotomy is the idea? The influences still remain, the execution has simply moved to the next level.