Artist: Neil Cowley Trio
Title: The Face Of Mount Molehill
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2012
Duration: 00:45:38
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz
Label: Naim Records

A dazzling composer and advocate of pure audacious melody, on The Face Of Mount Molehill, Cowley creates thrilling music defined by powerful rip-roaring riffs punctuated by passages of sheer delicacy. Recorded for the first time with a string ensemble, this album of deeply engaging instrumental music conveys passion and emotion that defy the need for words, looks set to launch the music of Neil Cowley Trio yet further into the listening public’s consciousness.

Neil Cowley Trio look, superficially, like a jazz trio, in that they comprise three men making noises on a grand piano (Cowley), a drum kit (Evan Jenkins) and a double bass (newbie recruit Rex Horan). But these noises rarely sound like jazz. Their fourth album, The Face Of Mount Molehill, features power pop songs without words, soundtracks in search of a film, exploratory minimalist miniatures, and the coolest TV theme tunes you’ll ever hear.

‘The title — The Face Of Mount Molehill — is a reference to the way in which I take mundane, everyday things and explode them into something epic and romantic,’ explains Cowley. ‘I am, basically, making musical mountains out of molehills. Little things become gargantuan.’ To assist this process the trio are joined, for the first time, by an eight-piece string section. It’s an idea they first explored in a one-off gig at the ICA for the 2010 London Jazz Festival, which featured a string quartet led by violinist Julian Ferraretto. ‘I’ve always wanted to work with strings,’ says Cowley, who co-wrote the arrangements with Ferraretto. ‘It’s my chance to be big and dramatic, like those amazing John Barry soundtracks that I grew up listening to.’

Alongside producer Dom Monks (engineer on Kings of Leon and Laura Marling, nominated for a Grammy for his work on the Ray LaMontagne album), Cowley is also assisted by Brian Eno sidekick Leo Abrahams, who provides subtle atmospheric soundscapes on several tracks. ‘Leo’s a noise architect rather than a classic guitarist,’ says Cowley. ‘He turned up to the studio with some ridiculous contraptions, like a box of springs, and ended up banging his guitar with a biro. All the weird noises you hear that aren’t made on a piano are made by him.’


  1. Lament – 3:09
  2. Rooster Was A Witness – 3:46
  3. Fable – 2:55
  4. Meyer – 3:33
  5. Skies Are Rare – 4:14
  6. Mini Ha Ha – 3:26
  7. Slims – 3:49
  8. Distance By Clockwork – 4:21
  9. The Face Of Mount Molehill – 3:20
  10. Hope Machine – 6:14
  11. La Porte – 4:24
  12. Sirens Last Look Back – 2:32