[This review was first published in Jazz Journal in 2010.]
Neil Cowley (p)
Richard Sadler (b)
Evan Jenkins (d)
A French Lesson
Desert to Rabat
Hug the Greyhound
London, September 2009
Naim Jazz NAIMCD147
I saw the Neil Cowley Trio live, not long before their second album and I was impressed by the power and immediacy of the music. This is their third release and proves the distinction between the live and studio settings.
The tunes and the riffs are as catchy as ever. Cowley clearly enjoys the whole keyboard and relishes sharp dynamics. As for the rest, the drums are interestingly subtle throughout, but the bass seems to be almost inaudible on a casual listen, even on the more ruminative hidden track. Still, it is a piano trio.
It’s well-played, tightly arranged and dynamically varied. Personally, I’d rather see them live.