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Neil Cowley Trio: Displaced

Neil Cowley lives somewhere in that new-jazz/pop cultural twilight zone between the Bad Plus and E.S.T. His résumé includes a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at Queen Elizabeth Hall when he was 10, and tenures in London funk/soul bands like Brand New Heavies and Zero 7. He writes all his own stuff, and his pieces are clever collages that manage complex structure within small spaces.

Cowley can come up with stunning effects. “Little Secrets” juxtaposes loudness and quiet and intricate filigrees and even sequential ideas (rare for Cowley) in a unique design. “Displaced” is a simple, bright melodic figure that becomes its chords and turns into a dark chant.

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