Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1093

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Review

David Dower Trio : Made In Sofia

Dower 1

9

6.2

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UK release date 21.01.2019

Sharpened by constant gigging and trading on significant word-of-mouth popularity in Bulgaria this enterprising jazz trio have built up a formidable reputation with their powerful, energetic piano led workouts.Pianist Dower also has a nice line in humour so you can't help liking his bonhomie character it's entwined in the music which is typified by this enterprising EP taster.

Opener (and Abba cover) 'Mama Mia' is a wonderingly awestruck construct.The intro doesn't give the game away either,full of tense spiky abstraction as the tune builds with gentle simmering power giving way to inventive harmonic ideas and classical countermelodies and a killer staccato 7/8 vamp subtly enmeshed with clever (but never clever-clever,check me out ) arrangements and he achieves something like a jazz nirvana state of grace,I'ts that good.

The Junction (named after the wonderful jazz dive near Brixton) is a bright and breezy gospel infused romp akin to a Bob James piece of blessedness.Here the band groove out and use their chops effectively with a delightful bass solo from the sensitive Luke Fowler, driven by drummer Matt Fisher who propels this exciting ensemble with his crisp and explosive, in the pocket playing.

'Susan Song' really portrays what a fantastic piano player he is - this is a staggeringly pensive ballad and the brush work, initially leads 'Theme From An Average Western' building into a tour de force outing as Fisher and Fowler take it out with propulsive clout.'Made In Sofia' is something of a hidden gem but one thing is for certain it reinforces Dower's position as one of Australia's brightest jazz ensemble leaders.Down under cannot and will not contain him, here he flexes his considerable talent on the international stage to devastating effect.
Words Emrys Baird

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