475

Kit Downes Trio: Golden

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Kit Downes Trio: Golden Golden is the first album by the Kit Downes Trio—and it provides plenty of evidence to support the growing reputations of these three young musicians. The trio, led by pianist Kit Downes, has been together since 2005 when its members were in the early stages of their studies at the Royal Academy of Music. The quality of writing and performance on this album so soon after the players' graduation demonstrates their huge potential and ensures that the album itself is one of the finest debut recordings of 2009.

Downes wrote seven of the eight tunes, with bassist Calum Gourlay contributing "Roots." Drummer James Maddren has no writing credits, but his distinctive percussion style is central to the trio's sound—something which is most apparent on the title track where his hypnotic and controlled drumming is almost counter-intuitive but strikingly effective.

Golden opens and closes with two extremely beautiful tunes: "Jump Minzi Jump" and "Tom's Tune." Both pieces are characterised by lovely, delicate melodies that are immediately accessible but endowed with enough depth and complexity to repay repeated listening. "Jump Minzi Jump" does lose focus in its mid-section before Downes returns to its melody line but "Tom's Tune," dedicated to Downes' tutor and fellow pianist Tom Cawley, stays strong throughout with Downes' piano weaving in and out of a swinging and seemingly effortless groove from Gourlay and Maddren.

The musicians are capable of powerful and intense playing—on "Power and Patience (the bear)" for example—but they excel in more restrained and delicate compositions where their ability to display emotion and empathy belies their relative inexperience. "Madame" is a prime example of this quality—a "love song with no words" according to Downes' liner notes, it opens with Gourlay's simple but emphatic bass line before Maddren and Downes enter and Downes' piano takes charge of the tune. There are no unnecessary flourishes from any of the musicians: every player is precise, delicate, and supportive of the others and the result is a triumph.

Each of these musicians is already in constant demand and is building up an impressive resumé. Talented and versatile musicians such as these deserve this success, but hopefully this group will remain a priority for all three of its members. Golden is a genuine pleasure, and hints strongly that there is more great music to come from the Kit Downes Trio.

Track Listing: Jump Minzi Jump; Golden; Homely; Power and Patience (the bear); Madame; A Dance Took Place; Roots; Tom's Tune.

Personnel: Kit Downes: piano; Calum Gourlay: double bass; James Maddren: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Basho Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Tangle" CD/LP/Track Review Tangle
by John Eyles
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Live At Maxwell's" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Maxwell's
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "A Matter Of Instinct" CD/LP/Track Review A Matter Of Instinct
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!