Neil Cowley Trio ‘Radio Silence’ (Naim Jazz) 3/5

On this third album from Neil Cowley and his regular trio, British influences are very much to the fore with some of Cowley’s pianistic favourites added into the mix. These include the pop/rock inspired ‘Hug the greyhound’ and the blues inflections of ‘Desert to Rabat’ that is evocative of a desert journey. Sometimes the tempo is just a little too rapid for the listener, becoming too immersed in technique rather than allowing the musicality of the trio to shine through and this can sometimes alienate the listener as on ‘Gerald’. Elsewhere the building of tension into crescendos as on the lyrical ballad ‘Radio silence’ is inspirational and hints at greater heights for the trio. There are elements of EST in the lengthy ‘Portal’ and of Brad Mehldau on the nice mid-tempo shuffle of ‘Stereoface’ while the intriguingly titled ‘French lesson’ actually has a Spanish-tinged feel akin to that created by Chick Corea. An extensive UK tour will begin in May and into 

Tim Stenhouse