Neil Cowley Trio - Loud . . . Louder . . . Stop (3 stars)

Neil Cowley Trio

(Cake Music)


Pianist Neil Cowley and his cohorts, bassist Richard Sadler and drummer Evan Jenkins, appear in Scotland this month as part of the last Triptych festival, and rate among the hipper items on the current UK jazz scene. Lauded for attracting a new younger audience to jazz, they have also been viewed with scepticism in more conventional jazz circles – the title of this second album is taken from a critic’s dismissive description of their music.

Like EST and The Bad Plus, they have pushed aside the subtleties of musical colour and harmonic complexity familiar from the Bill Evans-to-Keith Jarrett spectrum in favour of an approach that owes at least as much to rock and club culture as jazz. Their agenda is expressed in kinetic, often catchy melodies and crunching ostinato rhythmic progressions, albeit with a bit more in the way of variety and reflective interludes this time around.

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