Neil has two projects on the go: `Pretz' and the jazz trio here, he also played keyboards for Zero 7. Busy man, right? I get an overwhelming feeling of monumental euphoria during the umpteenth time listening to the chords and the dynamic of `Degree In Intuition', it REALLY is that good. Being a complete and utter fan of piano led trios, it is an enchanting, funky and delicate experience listening to `Displaced' which marks the debut, rehearsed in one week and recorded in one take at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. That in itself is pretty unique. Cowley is one of the UK's brightest stars and bursts into life hunched over the ivories in what is the best scenario for his creative expression: trio. He doesn't just play the piano, he extracts every ounce of life from it. Together with Richard Sadler and Evan Jenkins, they give the whole live experience that emotional energy best heard with closed eyes. Impeccable and dazzling compositions. Witness the creation of beautiful, melodious, joyful music. Dudley Moore would be proud!
An emotional tour de force of an album, this. Even from first listening one is totally overwhelmed by the leaders muscular playing. Tunes are more riff based than melodic and if I did have a minor criticism, then I'd like to hear the tunes develop more - or perhaps I am just greedy? There are big slabs of EST in here, and that's no bad thing and I am also reminded of Joanne Brackeen's 'Special Identity' (a long lost treasure). So, along with Gwilym Simcock, Kit Downes, Tim Lapthorne, British piano trios are in good hands.
I think anyone into jazz or anything verging on progressive would enjoy this CD. This band is so tight, it's incredible. They certainly are a powerhouse in the studio but I would love to see how they replicate these tracks live. If in doubt, buy it, at the price you can't go wrong.