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Neil Cowley Trio – The Face Of Mount Molehill (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Neil Cowley Trio – The Face Of Mount Molehill (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 45:43 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Naim/HighResolutionAudio | Digital booklet

A dazzling composer and advocate of pure audacious melody, on The Face Of Mount Molehill, Cowley creates thrilling music defined by powerful rip-roaring riffs punctuated by passages of sheer delicacy. Recorded for the first time with a string ensemble, this album of deeply engaging instrumental music conveys passion and emotion that defy the need for words, looks set to launch the music of Neil Cowley Trio yet further into the listening public’s consciousness.

Neil Cowley Trio look, superficially, like a jazz trio, in that they comprise three men making noises on a grand piano (Cowley), a drum kit (Evan Jenkins) and a double bass (newbie recruit Rex Horan). But these noises rarely sound like jazz. Their fourth album, The Face Of Mount Molehill, features power pop songs without words, soundtracks in search of a film, exploratory minimalist miniatures, and the coolest TV theme tunes you’ll ever hear.

‘The title – The Face Of Mount Molehill – is a reference to the way in which I take mundane, everyday things and explode them into something epic and romantic,’ explains Cowley. ‘I am, basically, making musical mountains out of molehills. Little things become gargantuan.’ To assist this process the trio are joined, for the first time, by an eight-piece string section. It’s an idea they first explored in a one-off gig at the ICA for the 2010 London Jazz Festival, which featured a string quartet led by violinist Julian Ferraretto. ‘I’ve always wanted to work with strings,’ says Cowley, who co-wrote the arrangements with Ferraretto. ‘It’s my chance to be big and dramatic, like those amazing John Barry soundtracks that I grew up listening to.’

Alongside producer Dom Monks (engineer on Kings of Leon and Laura Marling, nominated for a Grammy for his work on the Ray LaMontagne album), Cowley is also assisted by Brian Eno sidekick Leo Abrahams, who provides subtle atmospheric soundscapes on several tracks. ‘Leo’s a noise architect rather than a classic guitarist,’ says Cowley. ‘He turned up to the studio with some ridiculous contraptions, like a box of springs, and ended up banging his guitar with a biro. All the weird noises you hear that aren’t made on a piano are made by him.’

01 – Lament
02 – Rooster Was A Witness
03 – Fable
04 – Meyer
05 – Skies Are Rare
06 – Mini Ha Ha
07 – Slims
08 – Distance By Clockwork
09 – The Face Of Mount Molehill
10 – Hope Machine
11 – La Porte
12 – Sirens Last Look Back

Neil Cowley – Piano
Rex Horan – Double Bass
Evan Jenkins – Drums


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