The Neil Cowley Trio. Edinburgh, May 2008.

The last of the handful of gigs I went to recently was the Neil Cowley Trio, another in the cellar that is the Jazz Bar.

I saw the trio play eighteen months ago in London, supporting another band, and I’d been impressed, so when I saw they were playing in Edinburgh as part of the Triptych Festival – spread over the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen (I am never sure if they intend one to venture all over the place, racing from Aberdeen to Glasgow and back to Edinburgh, or just attend events in one’s home city) – I made sure to catch them.

A jazz power trio – their latest CD is called “Loud Louder Stop”, apparently after something an unfavourable reviewer wrote about their first album – Cowley’s music is somewhat riff-heavy, and occasionally formulaic; but it is also engaging and exciting, and they make a really good sound together.

Evan Jenkins on drums is steady, pushing the band forward – more rock than jazz (not many dotted triplets there!) – and freeing up bass player Richard Sadler to play more melody.

This was a really enjoyable gig; Cowley comes across as a really nice guy – he has a good line in London-patter – and the band held the audience enthralled.

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