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Preview: Neil Cowley Trio + Goldsmiths Strings – Barbican Hall

Neil Cowley Trio and the Goldsmiths (big) Strings
(Barbican Hall. Saturday 17th November. 2:00pm. Preview by Rob Edgar)

Pianist Neil Cowley presents a one-off event with his trio and a 30-piece string orchestra during the London Jazz Festival.

Cowley has fused his trio with the Goldsmiths (big) Strings to create a sort of hybrid between jazz, pop and classical. The big difference about his string arrangements (compared to what is traditional) however is that the players are not provided with a score to play from. Cowley, instead, has re-visited the ancient tradition of improvisation and collaboration; getting the orchestra to play purely by intuition.

The bulk of the material for this concert will come from both his acclaimed 2012 release The Face of Mount Molehill which is a varied programme. Meyer features slow, resonant and soaring harmonies in the strings with delicate melodies in the piano which is a sharp contrast to the jagged and almost dance inspired Rooster was a Witness. Here, the strings are given percussive pizzicato sections throughout, heavily syncopated and with a quite remarkable climax right near the beginning of the piece. Rooster… showcases a lot of what this group is capable of, utilising off-beat playing, lyrical melodies and an almost rock inspired drum beat.

There are also some new, especially composed pieces that will be given their premières on the 17th. It is impossible to guess where Cowley will take us next.

2:00pm, Sat 17th November 2012, Barbican Hall. Tickets ( £7.50-£12.50) HERE.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious,  as part of the London Jazz Festival

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3 replies »

  1. I really fail to see how this is deserving of a Jazz festival gig. It's not really jazz is it? It sounds to me to be quite bland and boring piano rock. Every tune I've heard from them sounds the same. Repeated, boring ostinatos. There's no jazz aesthetic in the music.

    The only positive thing I can take from this group is that they might act as a gateway for some people to discover actual jazz music. If people like this music then great but my problem is how this is given a prestigious slot in a prestigious festival. Why couldn't it be filled with an actual deserving *jazz* artist?

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