Many years ago, jazz combos simply called themselves after one of their number: the Dudley Moore Trio, the Miles Davis Quintet, and so on. The tradition still lingers, but even a well-established format such as the Hammond organ trio must sometimes follow the modern trend of adopting a name that is at once original and also opaque. Hence Deadeye, a trio consisting of Kit Downes on organ, Reinier Baas on guitar and Jonas Burgwinkel on drums. Why Deadeye? Who knows? Maybe it's a reflection of the way these three friends, who've wanted to record together for some time, hit the musical target each time they take aim.
The trio namechecks Richard Strauss, Ennio Morricone, Wes Montgomery and masked rapper MF DOOM as influences: its record label speaks of debut release Deadeye as drawing together strands of British traditional music, jazz-rock and twentieth-century classical music. The result is as varied and intriguing as these claims suggest and ears tuned in to prog, blues, 1970s rockers and even church organ (which Downes has played in numerous different settings) might well find even more musical genres tucked away within these eleven tracks.
The result of this mix of many influences is that there is no such thing as a "typical" Deadeye track. This is an adventurous and innovative musical trio, capable of passages of great beauty (the languid "Song for the Sea"), moments of high-energy excitement ("Hokus"), dramatic imagery ("Wild Bill") and cinematic soundscapes (Morricone's "Ninna Nanna per Adulteri"). There is even, for a few brief moments on the jagged "Stingaloon," a hint of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The trio ends proceedings with the traditional "The Wayfaring Stranger," crafting a slow, respectful interpretation that captures the sad yet hopeful nature of the original song's tale of the traveller seeking lost loved ones who have crossed "over Jordan."
Deadeye; Mbira; Stingaloon; Song for the Sea; Hokus; Sonatina; Wild Bill; Dolasilla Returns the Treasure;
Familiar; Ninna Nanna per Adulteri; The Wayfaring Stranger.
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