Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Neil Cowley Trio play Islay

Sitting 1.25 metres from the ball of energy that is Neil Cowley, was a fabulous experience last night. He pounded the piano to great effect and mixed percussive playing with moments of great delicacy and beauty.  No discrete foot-tapping for this man. His right leg in particular bounced and pummelled the floor as he produced one hell of a sound. Often the playing was visceral, powerful and startling. Good use of soft/loud and intricate rhythms mixed with repetitive thumping beats made for a thrilling experience. He was excellently supported by tight drum and bass playing which showed the players at the top of their game. Clearly happy to be on Islay and enjoying the unique atmosphere of the festival, the trio were greeted with delight. The tunes were introduced with humour and this continued within some of the pieces.  

Appearing at the Islay Jazz Festival for the first time, they showed just what a range of talent and approaches this festival provides. The Neil Cowley Trio’s set was a long way from the tune-solo-solo-solo- tune format favoured by too many of their contemporaries. This concert was one more to add to the list of top class performances we have had the privilege of seeing at the Gaelic College. 

Memo to the College. You may need to check the fabric of the building - it took some hammer. And as for the poor piano....

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