With their forthcoming album Spacebound Apes, the Neil Cowley jazz trio – comprised of Neil Crowley, Rex Horan and Evan Jenkins – have endeavoured to create much more than your usual album independent from any real context. The trio are set to perform Spacebound Apes in Southampton come the 21st October.
Rex Horan plays bass in the trio. He began playing the piano, then changed to the euphonium, then the violin before finally committing himself to becoming a bassist. Evan Jenkins, drummer of the three has previously played alongside the likes of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. Last but by no means least, Neil Cowley – pianist and composer – has simply been described as ‘a rare musical extrovert’ (The Guardian).
‘Above: Evans (left), Horan (right) and Cowley (mid)’
Cowley’s new creation seems far from your run of the mill instrumental album. The tracks are based around and compliment the alluringly morose philosophical tale of a modern day man-ape seemingly in the throes of an existential crisis. The ongoing story of Lincoln – the searching soul in question – in accompaniment with the music from the album (judging from the current release) create a rich, profound narrative that goes beyond merely reading words on a page. Like the music, the chronicles of Lincoln are written by Neil Crowley, a man said by the Sunday Times to have a ‘Genuine vision.’
We are galactic mariners, standing on the shore, about to set sail for the new world. What we discover there will make a mockery of the beliefs we hold now and those we’ve held for ten thousand years.
I am ready to fly. I am ready to discover. I am ready to understand. I am Lincoln, the spacebound ape. – Lincoln, pictured above
The track ‘Grace’ is the first to be released from the album of eleven and is said by Neil himself to “represent the moment that Lincoln is at his stillest and most introspective”, and it does so perfectly with its gentle, undulating tempo and soothing melody. Crowley’s vision seems an interesting one and with such accolades under his belt as ‘Best album’ from the BBC Jazz Awards and JazzFM’s ‘Artist of the year’ the album is sure to live up to expectations.
The album is set to be released on the 16th September. Following that, the Neil Cowley Trio will be performing locally at the Southampton jazz venue Turner Sims on October 21st.
“We are all spacebound apes. Whatever way you look at it. However much we delude ourselves that as a species we are at the pinnacle of all understanding, in truth we know nothing.” – Lincoln