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Naim Label


Neil Cowley Trio

Neil Cowley Trio
In just a few short years, and on his fifth album, pianist Neil Cowley and his band mates, bassist Rex Horan and drummer Evan Jenkins, have carved out a reputation as one of Britain's most exciting bands.
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Biography

London born Neil Cowley has become one of the UK's most respected and talked-about pianists. As a young boy Cowley studied classical music at the prestigious Royal Academy, and by the age of 10 had performed a Shostakovich piano concerto to a full house at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

By his mid-teens, Cowley had joined a friend in a Blues Brothers Tribute band, ("as a way" he says "of getting into pubs"), and by the age of 17 had turned his back on formal training altogether, and entered the world of pop. He went on to record and tour with some of the best soul and funk bands of the day, including Gabrielle, The Pasadenas, 4 years with the Brand New Heavies, and Zero 7, until in 2002 he formed his own band, Fragile State.

As one half of the Fragile State production duo, Cowley set the world of jazzy chill-out music alight and produced two critically acclaimed albums, from which came ‘Four-Four-Four', a track that was later licensed by Vodafone for a nationwide commercial. When the record company dissolved, Cowley continued to make music; his incredible versatility as a composer saw him producing themes to a number of television programmes and documentaries, drawing on desert blues, chill, jazz and orchestral soundtrack.

Cowley soon began to find the experience of extracting music from a computer chip unbearable, so set forth with his dear friend the piano and a renewed enthusiasm to present creativity without technological hindrance. Cowley began composing and eventually realised a long-standing vision, and formed the Neil Cowley Trio with Richard Sadler on double bass and Evan Jenkins on drums.

In June 2006 Cowley formed his own label, Hide Inside Records, and released his debut album Displaced, an outstanding album of original recordings that presented him as a dazzling pianist and stunning composer. Through his powerful examination of the possibilities of the acoustic piano trio, Cowley created a unique trademark sound that delivered dynamic, powerful music, capable of heart shattering tenderness, and ferociously forceful melodies in one dizzy sitting. The album was released to huge critical acclaim, and won the award for Best Album at the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards.

In February 2007, Neil Cowley Trio undertook their first full UK tour. At the heart of their captivating live performances is Cowley's remarkable rapport with his audience - his marvellously English wit, mischievous humour and instinctive flair & ingenuity as an entertainer continues to attract full houses and standing ovations.

In the summer of 2007, the trio recorded their follow-up album, Loud... Louder...Stop for the indie jazz label, Cake. Fizzing with the energy of rock and the surging dynamics of dance music, Cowley solidified his sound, yet stretched the envelope further. Released in March 2008, it placed him and his trio at the forefront of the British ‘Post-Jazz' movement, and earned them far reaching critical acclaim from across the music al spectrum. Mojo hailed the recording as a "Modern Classic", and listed it in their '50 Best Albums' of that year. The trio became noted for blurring the boundaries between jazz and other genres, and, dubbed ‘Jazz for Radiohead fans', they found themselves with a diverse touring schedule that would take them from Glastonbury and the iTunes Festival to the infamous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. A TV appearance on Later with Jools, a Mojo cover-mounted CD (a celebratory reworking of the Beatle's Revolution), and a Guinness commercial inched them further toward crossover status.

In the meantime, dedication to his trio would see Cowley decline various invitations to appear as side man on other projects. However, his contribution to the platinum-selling '19', the debut recording from fellow-Londoner, Adele, and in particular his poignantly expressive intro to the stand-out Hometown Glory is now legendary. More recently, Cowley has collaborated with the Stereophonics on their current album, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Touch and Flee is the new recording from Neil Cowley Trio, and marks a defining moment in the evolution of the band. It is their bravest, most daring album to date, spotlighting the ever- increasing brilliance of Cowley as a composer. With long time band mates, Evan Jenkins on drums and Rex Horan on bass, they jump headlong into new territory to present what they describe as "our concert hall record" for an altogether deeper listening journey.

Neil is married with two gorgeous children.


Management

julie@riotsquadpublicity.com

Discography

Touch and Flee (180gm LP + HD Download code)
Touch and Flee (180gm LP + HD Download code) (2014)

naimlp207

eagerly awaited LP and a brave new direction that Neil describes as more 'concert hall' - we approve

Touch and Flee
Touch and Flee (2014)

naimcd206

eagerly awaited LP and a brave new direction that Neil describes as more 'concert hall' - we approve

Wallflower (Free Download)
Wallflower (Free Download) (2014)

naimcs206

exclusive hi def download from the 'Touch and Flee' recording sessions at RAK Studios

The Face Of Mount Molehill (180gm LP + HD Download Code)
The Face Of Mount Molehill (180gm LP + HD Download Code) (2012)

naimlp182

NCT's fourth and finest takes signature rip-roaring piano riffs and delicate passages to new heights

The Face Of Mount Molehill
The Face Of Mount Molehill (2012)

naimcd171

NCT's fourth and finest takes signature rip-roaring piano riffs and delicate passages to new heights

Radio Silence 180gm LP
Radio Silence 180gm LP (2010)

naimlp157

NCT's critically acclaimed 'difficult' third album on glorious 180gm vinyl

Radio Silence
Radio Silence (2010)

naimcd147

Radio Silence, NCT's Naim jazz debut, is their most complete and eloquent statement yet.

Breach
Breach (2010)

timesonline01

FREE DOWNLOAD. One of Neil Cowley's personal favourites from the Radio Silence recording sessions!

Videography

Reviews | all reviews >>

Touch and Flee in Nouvelle Vague
5 Stars

"Spellbinding and graceful"
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Neil Cowley Trio Live at the Barbican - Guardian
3 Stars

“A rare musical extrovert... Can communicate with a broader audience...Something to cherish...”
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Touch and Flee in Jazz UK
"A revealing and often quite lovely statement from a band that clearly still have a lot to say”
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Touch and Flee in the Quietus
“the trio's most sheerly enjoyable statement to date”
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Touch and Flee in iDrum e-magazine
"This remarkable trio have managed to redefine their sound...immersive and adventurous...blissful"
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Touch and Flee in The Times
3 Stars

"Cowley steers his trio into the deeper jazz territory...he is on the right track"
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Touch and Flee in the Guardian
4 Stars

"gifted maverick dig(s) deeper… the playing richer and more intricate"
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'Touch and Flee' in Jazzwise
4 Stars

"a recording of hidden depths and on-the-pulse sonic values that signals a bright new chapter in the Neil Cowley Trio story."
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'Touch and Flee' in MOJO
3 Stars

“...more sober, substantial and meditative...”
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Neil Cowley Trio in iDrum Magazine
"healthy provisions of humour and melodrama"
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Neil Cowley Trio in New York Magazine
"slickly produced in the rough-hewn world of jazz"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Time Out New york
"handsome originals...strong, stirring stuff"
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Neil Cowly Trio in the New York Times
“featuring the same adaptable trio found on his prepossessing new album, Cowley is well known for bridging the chasm between jazz and pop”
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Neil Cowley Trio in the San Francisco Chronicle
"rocking groove tunes and atmospheric numbers"
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Neil Cowley Trio Something Else review
"Part George Winston, part Ben Folds, part the Bad Plus... a mighty mixture of elegance, attitude and wit"
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Neil Cowley Trio in the LA Times
"cinematic strings... crisp melodies and driving interplay between Cowley and his rhythm section"
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Neil Cowley Trio in audaud.com
"celebratory piano riffs, lively tempo, and a groove enriched by a pizzicato strings"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Jazz In Space
"straight-up contemporary jazz with a bang-bang edge"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Midwest Record
"One of those bands that has the special sauce to break out of the critic's darling ghetto and get real people on their side"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Downbeat Magazine
"I believe London’s jazz scene is the most vibrant right now, and NCT [Neil Cowley Trio] is its most brilliant incarnation"
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Neil Cowley trio Magnet Magazine
"nothing but thrills and excitement" and that, "we're finally experiencing a worthwhile British Invasion (of modern jazz). Check them out." Magnet Magazine.
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Neil Cowley Trio at The Montreal Jazz Festival
"Neil Cowley and his trio thrilled with a dynamic set, tackling the jazz-rock divide in a different, yet equally engaging fashion. Captivating melodies marked by intricate time signatures and catchy hooks were delivered with a hard-hitting urgency (check the new The Face of Mount Molehill)."
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Irish Examiner review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"Like an advert for a popular make of car, take it for a drive and you'll understand"
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Saga review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"powered instrumentals that are smart but not too pleased with themselves"
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Evening Standard review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"powerful dynamic"
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Scottish Daily Express review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"piano, bass and drums are cleverly augmented"
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Next Bop review Neil Cowley Trio - The Face of Mount Molehill
"one of those albums that makes good use of all the tools in its toolbox and is certainly worthy of all the depth for which it is striving to achieve"
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Music News review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"This is really very fine: top class writing and strong playing, music for a dark and cold night that carries its own heat"
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The Independent review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"sophisticated, tightly crafted set which makes you want to go back to the beginning"
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BBC Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"There’s minimalism, but it’s the minimalism of sheer melodic space, and a refreshing sort of simplicity."
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The Scotsman review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"catchy melodic hooks and crunching rhythmic surge"
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Subba Cultcha review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“A stunning evolution of the art-form from the countries leading jazz pianist.... a collision between the worlds of jazz and post-rock which takes the complexity of the former and the melodrama of the former.”
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E Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

“its pleasure is in its stimulation: In a very real sense, it’s a refreshing listen.”
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Arctic Reviews review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“a thumping, full on rock dynamic that closely resembles a Tom Chaplin-less Keane”
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Is This Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“you’ll want to hear this again and again.”
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The Word review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“a lovely record of concise, melodic tracks that might find favour with anyone who has ever been attracted to Brubeck, the Penguin Café Orchestra, or Sumpertramp”
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Jazz Journal review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"bounding energy, high drama, puckish wit, and catchy melodic hooks"
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MOJO review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"Impressive fourth album"
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Jazzwise review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

"no-messin' tightly-arranged 'songs without a singer'...another high quality release"
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British Jazz Blog review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"a rhythmically driven record with an inventive jazz bite...real must listen for 2012"
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The Yorkshire Evening Post review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"To pigeonhole The Face of Mount Molehill as a jazz release would do it an injustice - it is simply great music"
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Indie London review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“It’s a fascinating listen… as uplifting as it can be sorrowful, but always keen to surprise and delight in its different ways.”
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Scotland's Sunday Herald review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“…beautifully written and carefully arranged …. a certain grandeur …appealing quirkiness ….and talent for movingly tender reflection”
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Fake DIY review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"does not readily conform to pre-conceived notions of jazz...offering almost a rock music-like aesthetic to the proceedings."
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AAA Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"Lovers of jazz will be excited, touched and thrilled by this album”
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Music OMH review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“…moments of graceful poise and pounding insight... Cowley has crafted a coherent, carefully planned suite of music here with a strong conceptual framework and a remarkably consistent sound”
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The Times review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"short, catchy tunes and melodies"
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The Telegraph review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

“…. a loveable English eccentric with odd blend of ‘anthemic’ melody and unexpected moments of pastoral radiance…. (he and strings) work perfectly together”
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Blues & Soul review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"the strings and sound collage guitar just keep the ante going up and up. Stupendous!"
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The Line Of Best Fit review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
"rollicking energy captured...not sound out of place"
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Time Out Magazine review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

“tips the scales of success in favour of his credible hybrid of proggish-rock, jazzy melancholy and English melodic whimsy…a glorious romp of a record”
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Vanguard Online review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill
“This is charming and witty stuff, full of dynamics and a fresh sounding piano that switches between pounding and picking out melodies"
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Shout4Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face OF Mount Molehill'
"‘The Face Of Mount Molehill’ with its driving rhythmic melodies. He is the type of musician you could only wish on stumbling across in a late night bar and on arrival being drawn into every note.”
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Fwd Music review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“Neil Cowley Trio have stuck to what they do best, with mainly piano based melodies throughout this beautiful album. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as the sheer creativity of writing behind this album makes it able to stand out from the crowd”
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The Sunday Times review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
“worth testing out on a recalcitrant teen who thinks all jazz is as forbidding as Sanskrit“
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17 Seconds review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill
"once heard, you’ll want to hear this again and again.”
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The Guardian review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

"set audiences bopping to a smart splicing of punchy themes and chord-belting, rock-piano climaxes"
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Record Collector review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

“wistfully lyrical and dynamic to an adrenaline pumping degree…their most impressive opus yet”
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All About Jazz review Neil Cowley Trio - 'Radio Silence'
"Neil Cowley Trio works within a mode that harmoniously turns the tide on convention."
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UNCUT Magazine review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill'
4 Stars

“the greatest stadium-filling anthems that Coldplay never wrote"
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DOWNBEAT Magazine review Neil Cowley Trio - 'Radio Silence'
"wonderfully percussive and powerful...a great, creative piano trio that makes you bob your head and smile."
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Jazz Times review Neil Cowley Trio - Radio Silence
"Radio Silence...music that only increases in appeal upon repeated listens."
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Culture Capital review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill
"The Face Of Mount Molehill is diverse and well formed...it’s an album that’s going to stay firmly on my playlist.”
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Alt Sounds review Neil Cowley Trio - 'The Face Of Mount Molehill
"It's reminiscent of the pop leanings of a composer such as Thomas Newman"
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Jazz Junkie review Neil Cowley Trio - 'Radio Silence'
4½ Stars

"Neil Cowley Trio creates beautiful themes using their own vision"
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All Gigs review Neil Cowley Trio - Face Of Mount Molehill
"award-winning threesome have delivered a smart, polished and pretension-free set"
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All About Jazz review Neil Cowley Trio - Radio Silence
"in the safe nostalgia of the twentieth century...Neil Cowley Trio continue to forge ahead into more challenging territory"
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Mainly Piano review Neil Cowley Trio - Radio Silence
"Radio Silence is a fascinating listening experience...music for the heart and feet"
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Audiophile Audition review Neil Cowley Trio - Radio Silence
4 Stars

"This is music with a hipster sophistication and new millennium accessibility"
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Downbeat Magazine review Neil Cowley Trio - Radio Silence
"a great, creative piano trio that makes you bob your head and smile"
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Digital Jazz News review Neil Cowley Trio
"Lush all most cinematic melodies that suddenly transform into bursts of controlled sonic fury"
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Neil Cowley in HiFi News
“precision and breath-catching dynamic contrasts, all of which are captured stunningly on this recording”
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Radio Silence in CommercialBreak
3½ Stars

"this is Cowley's reply to his critics. Perhaps Radio Silence will finally silence them"
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Radio Silence in Limelight
"Cowleys intense, rythmic and richly decorated music is matched by the aggressive immediacy of his cohorts"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Time Out
"Cowley gives the modern piano trio a distinctly English spin with danceable and daring results."
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Radio Silence on Altsounds.com
"a talent which without effort links both the accessibility of "Stereoface" to more improvised tones of "Gerald".
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Radio Silence on The Silent Ballet
3½ Stars

"Elegant and poetic..just damn beautiful."
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Radio Silence in Elsewhere NZ
"real skills and exciting angularity"
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Neil Cowley Trio on Bluesandsoul.com
"So summing up this talented threesome, I urge you to forget Viagra just get some NCT in your veins you'll soon be running around like a spring lamb. They are an inspirational spark that just continues to fly upwards bravo!"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Inrockuptibles
"L'equation est simple: formation a la musique classique + jazz + culture pop anglaise = Neil Cowley Trio!"
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Neil Cowley Trio on Juslikemusic
"The Neil Cowley Trio continue to expand on the sub-genre of contemporary piano-trio jazz, with their high energy performances and beautifully crafted songs. The new album, Radio Silence, is a brilliant collection of nine songs, so give it a listen"
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Neil Cowley Trio on Timesonline
3 Stars

"nothing short of inspired...wonderfully refreshing...irresistible"
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Radio Silence in Jazzwise
3 Stars

"Beautiful... elegiac, meditive even.. a band that seems to have found its voice... the sound of a band maturing fast, and in the process taking more chances. .. This is Cowley's best yet"
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Radio silence in The Word
"these tracks function like mad silent - movie accompaniments that lie just on the right side of chaos."
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Radio Silence on Shout4music.com
4 Stars

"Cowley produces genuinely exciting music compactly arranged into tight song structures."
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Radio silence on subba-cultcha
"The album is full of these harmonic diversions that are, great...trail-blazing"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Manchester Evening News
4 Stars

"by turns explosive, exploratory and eccentric - and sounds much more modern than mouldy old modern jazz"
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Radio silence on Heraldscotland
"like the late Esbjorn Svensson, he has a talent for tender, deceptively simple melodies"
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Neil Cowley Trio on The Line of Best Fit
"wonderfully fluid....emblematic of the best quality of Neil Cowley Trio"
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Neil Cowley Trio in Basic Soul
"sit back and enjoy listening to a trio that is clearly having fun here stretching songs in areas they haven't been before"
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Radio Silence in The Scotsman
'Cowley has staked his own claim to a slot in contemporary jazz'
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Radio Silence in The Sunday Post
"a great mix of meandering, gentle, lyrical phrases with the occasional virtuoso sprint"
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Radio Silence in Inthenews
"energetic, tuneful piano pieces that put a smile on your face"
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Radio Silence in the Sunday Mercury
'Packs a punch'
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Radio Silence on BBC Music
"it’s the playfulness bursting from the piano ace’s fingers that should capture the imagination here – and prove he’s not scared of getting fresh".
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Radio Silence on Entertainment-Focus.com
'This album is full of jazz piano offerings that showcase Cowley's talents on the piano. Whether its jazz meanderings like A French Lesson, or the sprawling Vice Skating with Cowley showing his flair traversing up and down the piano....'
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Radio Silence in The Times
3 Stars

"Little wonder that he got invited to both Glastonbury and Ronnie Scott's...typically mesmerising"
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Radio Silence in The Independant
'lyrical,angular and seismic'
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Radio Silence in The Guardian
"...a complex and subtle album...Cowley is refining his skills as a composer of striking motifs"
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Radio Silence in Cigna Sight And Sound
"Enthralling, heart-warming and gripping as the very best in contemporary music...this restless drive pushes the Neil Cowley Trio towards greatness"
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Radio Silence in The Jazz Mann
4 Stars

"An important step in the development of the trio. It's a more nuanced record with greater emotional depth than either of its predecessors and heralds a greater maturity in Cowley's writing style"
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Radio Silence in B&S
4 Stars

"These boys are the masters of dynamics and the trio gel as one...breathtaking!"
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Radio Silence in Music OMH
3½ Stars

"As the saying goes, many a good thing comes in threes and Neil Cowley's trio is a prime example"
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Radio Silence in The Independent
"Pianism in the grand manner, catchy hooks and floaty ballads"
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Radio Silence in Leeds Music Scene
"The production is floorless, and the performance as tight as your landlord's wallet...a continuation of the type of fusion that is driving jazz forwards"
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Radio Silence in Contact Music
“The minimal, delicate percussion treatments and swirling piano laden tracks are accomplished”
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Radio Silence in BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars

"The elegance of Brad Mehldau and the intensity of Nirvana"
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Radio Silence in Bearded
"Their most complete and eloquent statement yet"
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Radio Silence in Vanguard
"Whatever your prejudices about jazz, this is a bit special."
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Radio Silence in Jazz UK
"Cowley’s Radio Silence increases the dynamic contrasts, classical delicacies and tone-poetic moods of his work without sacrificing the grooving that has bought him many fans outside jazz."
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Radio Silence in The Telegraph
4 Stars

"Cowley is a true heir to the English romantic strain of musicians...wonderful"
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Radio Silence in Tasty Fanzine
"They are very technically good, all three instruments have very clever parts to play, and all played with flare...it's a good mix"
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Radio Silence in Mojo
3 Stars

"Bittersweet...intricate...a big step forward"
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Radio Silence in Red Hot Velvet
5 Stars

"Neil and the gang combine crashing crescendos with romantic melodies that even the biggest Jazz novice can sink their teeth into"
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Radio Silence in Die Shell Suit Die
3 Stars

"Talented"
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Radio Silence in Properganda Blog
"If an album is simply a snapshot of a work in progress, then this is a perfect portrait"
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Radio Silence in All Gigs
5 Stars

"Jazz may well be the genre, but this is music that lolls about in your head and gives you a different aural taste every time"
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Radio Silence in Shakenstir
5 Stars

"An album that would fit comfortably in anyone's record collection...an emotional but exciting rollercoaster of a journey"
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Radio Silence in the Record Collector
4 Stars

"EST on steroids with the attitude of Motorhead"
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Radio Silence in MOJO
"Jazz for Radiohead fans"
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