CD review

QOW Trio – ‘QOW Trio’

QOW Trio – QOW Trio
(Ubuntu Music. UBU0068. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)

The members of tis trio were apparently drawn together by their shared appreciation of the sax-bass-drums trios lead by Sonny Rollins, and it is the energy and exuberance of Rollins’ trios that first springs to mind: QOW Trio have the same kind of liveliness and bounce. But whilst they may take inspiration from an earlier jazz age, this album also feels up to date and of its own time.

There’s also a feeling that one generation is handing on the baton. Drummer Spike Wells has been playing since the mid sixties, and his CV contains gigs with many jazz luminaries, whereas Riley Stone-Lonergan is part of the young London improvising scene. In between fits bassist Eddie Myer.

Together they produce a balanced sound. Stone-Lonergan’s tenor sax is necessarily to the fore, but each instrument has its voice. Wells’ has a lovely lightness of touch, and Myer’s walking bass keeps everything moving along.

The tunes are a collection of standards by the likes of Frank Loesser (the opening track, A Slow Boost To China) and Cole Porter (You Do Something To Me and It’s All Right With Me), together with Joe Henderson’s Serenity and Dewey Redman’s Qow from which the trio take their name. Stone-Lonergan also provides two originals both of which give a nod to sax greats, Qowfirmation and Pound For Prez.

Most of the tracks are upbeat and and up-tempo, save for a heartfelt version of Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child, and the overall feel is exuberant and optimistic. Recorded in just one day, it sounds like the band were having a ball playing, and this translates into a hugely enjoyable set.

Patrick Hadfield lives in Edinburgh, occasionally takes photographs, and sometimes blogs at On the Beat. Twitter: @patrickhadfield.

LINKS: Feature about QOW Trio by Leah Williams
Bandcamp Link

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