March 4, 2011 11:21 pm

Kit Downes Trio: Quiet Tiger

Kit Downes Trio

Quiet Tiger

 

(Basho Records)

4 star rating

Kit Downes follows up last year’s Mercury Prize nomination with 11 accessible, scene-setting piano-trio miniatures that are rich in melody and rhythmic poise.

The pianist’s entrance is an inquisitive mid-track prowl over guest James Allsopp’s bass clarinet, a thematic whirlwind of boundary-crossing episodes follows, and there are free jazz flutters and sparse piano hovering over spare electronics. Downes marshals his multi-genre mastery with focus, the trio is empathetic and “Skip James” a delectable blues-inflected highlight.

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