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Neil Cowley Trio, Vilnius November 19,2017

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Joined: 22 Dec 2010
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    Posted: 20 Nov 2017 at 1:03am
London-based Neil Cowley Trio opened the last day's concert of annual Vilnius Mama Jazz Fest at State Drama Theater yesterday night. Differently from many of similar popular piano-led trios from Scandinavia (and partially Continental Europe) based on virtuoso pianist with the support of competent rhythm section, Cowley trio continue very English tradition combining three equal musicians with bassist as main showman and rock-drummer as pushing engine of generally jazz-rooted band. Year ago at the same scene Phronesis successfully demonstrated same formula (just on more chamber/sophisticated manner).

Pianist Neil Cowley Trio did their name around a decade ago playing gigs in UK and with series of released albums (incl. music ,released on generally avant-garde jazz label Clean Feed).  Multi-national collective (with Australian bassist Rex Horan and New Zealander drummer Evan Jenkins) played mostly popular in time contemporary chamber jazz,dominating on many European jazz scenes at that time. 

Here in Vilnius their program was based mostly on their most current conceptual album "Spacebound Apes", inspired by writer Arthur C Clarke books. To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of their earlier albums and could never understand what their popularity is based on. Yesterday night I found the answer finally.

Cowley Trio from very first minutes played the music everyone in overcrowded hall fell in love with. Short songs with catchy tunes,energizing rhythms,very accessible but still tasty enough to attract very diverse auditory from numerous Music Academy students to few Parliament members, seniors and  aging classic rock fans. Introduced my MC as "jazz for Radiohead fans", Trio really played some attractive hybrid of jazz and brit-pop which united all these usually hardly incorporate-able audience.

Trying to avoid obvious associations with classic jazz trio, band members with a significant talent played a power rock trio on scene - with double bassist (who looked and behaved right as if he was a ZZ Top member)  as a main frontman and rock-hard non-delicate drummer,ignoring nuances and concentrating on thunder-like straight drive pushing the songs ahead.

What sounded extremely lo-fi on recordings worked surprisingly well played live. As a result,they really stole the show. At the end of the gig all few hundred listeners went crazy screaming,shouting,jumping around in academic by its atmosphere Theater's hall, far not every rock concert evidences such an euphoria at the end.

 Neilas CowleyDžiazo festivalis „Vilnius Mama Jazz“ Džiazo festivalis „Vilnius Mama Jazz“ Džiazo festivalis „Vilnius Mama Jazz“ Džiazo festivalis „Vilnius Mama Jazz“  

Edited by snobb - 21 Nov 2017 at 1:15am
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