Saturday, 9 April 2011


by Kit Downes Trio

Whitney Balliett famously described jazz as “the sound of surprise”. And the more conventional the format, the greater is the surprise. Take jazz piano trio. By mid-1990s, I thought that Keith Jarrett’s Standards Trio, prolific as they are, said all there was to say piano-trio-wise. Then I heard E.S.T. and thought, maybe not. And now, these youngsters: Kit Downes (piano), Calum Gourlay (bass) and James Maddren (drums). Definitely not.

For me, the stand-outs here are Jump Minzi Jump, a lively jazz waltz Tom’s Tune, and ever-changing A Dance Took Place — is it a tango? jazz ballad? swing? But there are no weak links on the album, and a lot of surprises. To quote Peter Bacon,

I urge you to buy this disc — it really is not only the bee’s knees but the bee’s ankles, hips and all the other bee-like joints, too.

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