The Face Of Mount Molehill [VINYL]
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180 gm vinyl LP edition with free HD download code. Neil Cowley has long held a reputation as a maverick genre-bending pianist/composer with a subversive take on the traditional jazz piano trio. Cementing his position as a dazzling composer of extraordinary talent, Cowley and his trio scale the gargantuan summit of Mount Molehill where they explore the heights of everyday trivia, and score it to a soaring overture of epic proportions. Nourishing his fondness for grand, commanding sounds, Cowley has begun a love affair with orchestration. Having spent the past year writing and arranging specifically for his trio and strings, he records, for the first time ever, with a string ensemble. The music is expansive, dynamic and deeply engaging. With the addition of soundscape textures from guitarist Leo Abrahams, (renowned for his collaborative work with Brian Eno) the Face of Mount Molehill represents a substantial shift in direction. Comprising 12 original tracks, the album takes the listener on an exciting musical journey from pomp and splendour to poignant, lyrical episodes; from sprightly and whimsical to powerful, rhythmic melodies. It would be far too simplistic to slot this thrilling music into the jazz pigeonhole; sure, it is instrumental but these songs without words have the power to break down standard perceptions of genre. Their sheer emotion and energy touch lovers of all music. The Neil Cowley Trio are known for their remarkable and engaging live performances, which always maintain a quirky sense of humour at their core.
Top Customer Reviews
The Face of Mount Molehill has combined the energy from previous NCT albums - Rooster Was A Witness and the title track being prime examples - yet has some achingly beautiful melodies that give me the goosebumps.
The addition of strings, and other subtle additions (see the "Making Of" video on the NCT web site!) has added another dimension to the superb trio. Some parts take me back to Neil's Pretz album.
The opening "Lament", "Meyer", "Skies Are Rare" ooze with lovely strings - there are hints of Einaudi piano + cello. Hugely uplifting!
Have to say I'm having a little trouble digesting "Fable" with its dischords, and the laughing on "Mini Ha Ha" track is creepy! LOL! Having seen the video there's definitely some Neil Cowley fun and a trifle madness behind the tracks.
UPDATE: Actually, "Fable" is seriously growing on me!!
Top stuff from the trio - toe tapping, head rocking, heart lifting, jazz goodness :-)
...now to see if I can get to any of the gigs!
WARNING: Amazon have _two_ versions of the MP3 album - one has an extra track!! Wish I had noticed this before :-(
Tempted to dock one star but will settle for reburning this to CD with this track at the end !
I play this in the tech room at school when I am working, am sure I have annoyed many people but I can't help listening to it.
I went to see them at the Barbican at the end of last year, they are absolutely stunning on stage, if you enjoy the album their concerts are brilliant - try and get tickets! I don't know if they will be in concert/recordings again with the Goldsmiths strings however the string writing on these tracks is amazing.
We all like the dinosaur on the piano too!
Whilst this has some outstanding tracks, it does not sit together quite as well as Radio Silence as an album.
Edit - I am disappointed to see that the MP3 version available on Amazon has an exclusive extra track. Why short change purchasers of the CD? Musicians should understand that this kind of marketing gimmick leaves a bad taste in the mouth of fans.
Musically, the tunes are based around memorable and catchy piano riffs with hints of urgent, rocky rhythms (Such as on Fables) and plenty of build ups to crescendos that then fall away. In amongst this there are gentle, almost pastoral passages, such as the opening track, Lament. Pace and direction change quite often within the songs.
The addition of strings gives the album a classical feel, and fits in well with the dramatic tunes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love their music! Soothing yet interesting. I love listening to them while I work on my paintings, And this album is fabulous, except for the "mini ha-ha" song which really... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Readerofchoice
A little disappointed with the album overall. I thought they translated much better when listening to other stuff and was recommended by a DJ friend of mine.Published 23 months ago by Alan Tang
Never heard of this band before, but heard one track and the I knew I had to have this CDPublished on 20 Feb. 2014 by geoant
A new bass player but still the usual excellence coming through from this Trio. The only thing better than this Trio's recordings is hearing them live.Published on 3 Dec. 2013 by P K Hewston
Their best album so far, the addition of strings was always going to be a winner, it fits in perfectly with Neil Cowley's compositions (as was evident at the Cheltenham Jazz... Read morePublished on 16 Feb. 2012 by N Hughes