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Golden

Kit Downes Trio

Digital format — Album / Tracks

Golden

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also feat.
Calum Gourlay and James Maddren
released
2009
Label
Basho Records
Catalogue no.
SRCD 31-2

Pianist/composer Kit Downes exploded onto the British Jazz Scene playing with the band Empirical, taking him through Europe and America, and then with Troyka, Fraud and Acoustic Ladyland. Now, two years on, Kit has moved on to his own trio project and this debut album sees him developing as a strong voice both as a performer and composer. Joined by his two Royal Academy colleagues award-winning bassist Calum Gourlay and rising drum star James Maddren the music displays a level of understanding and intelligence between players that can only come from working closely together for a number of years. They read each other perfectly.

The band has spent these years developing their own personal sound. The music is immediately arresting and stands repeated listening. It uses melody, inspired from a range of sources ranging from Bela Bartok to Keith Jarrett to Rufus Wainwright, and endeavours both to celebrate the classic piano trio tradition as well as develop it.

Reviews

John Fordham, The Guardian

"British pianist Kit Downes, formerly of Empirical, is beginning to get the kind of enthusiastic attention Gwilym Simcock did on his emergence a few years before - but for a more economical jazz-derived style with a more audible connection to his Royal Academy teacher Tom Cawley's fascination with Brad Mehldau. This trio session, like the Simcock album, features drummer James Maddren, plus bassist Calum Gourlay. If Simcock has a flaw, it's that his erudition and virtuosity give him so many options, it's hard to be ruthless in editing them. Downes is more of a choosy, patient storyteller, and if one of his distinctive original themes only requires a handful of notes and a lot of spaces, he leaves it like that.

The group sets out its strengths in the opening Jump Minzi Jump; massages a slow chordal melody over a preoccupied percussion tick on the title track; touches on both Monkish angles and a folksy vivacity on Power and Patience; and uncorks Downes' formidable powers of long-lined swing on A Dance Took Place."

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