Kit Downes Quintet

Kit Downes (p) James Allsopp (bcl) Lucy Railton (cello) Calum Gourlay (b) James Maddren (d)

Kit Downes Trio

Kit Downes Trio

Kit Downes has been described as “everyone’s favourite young pianist… unpretentiously brilliant and full of subtle touches”. By Dave Gelly (The Observer)Kit was nominated for Mercury Prize for his debut album Golden, a nomination that announced to a wider audience, what the jazz world already knew, that Downes is one of the most brilliant musicians of his generation. A gifted composer and sparkling improviser, who whether playing with the bands Neon, Troyka and Golden Age Of Steam or leading his own lauded trio, brings an under-stated verve and earthy brilliance to the music. Inspired by artists as diverse as Quiet Tiger is his second album from BBC Award-winning, 25-year-old pianist/composer. Quiet Tiger is aptly titled capturing as it does the gentle charisma of Downes’ playing and while Golden was a superb document of the trio in its early days it is Quiet Tiger that more completely captures Downes’ thoughtful brilliance.

A darker, more textured album than its predecessor, Quiet Tiger again features the Kit Downes Trio with bassist Calum Gourlay and drummer James Maddren with special guests Adrien Dennefeld on cello and James Allsopp on tenor saxophone and bass-clarinet. And while the rapport between the trio is clear (they’ve been playing together for six years now) it is the extra voicings that the addition of cello and horns allow that really bring Downes’ music into focus, expanding his musical palate and allowing for a richer, deeper, more expressive sound that perfectly complements his evocative narratives and explosive improvisational journeys.

Some press comments:

” “A brilliant soloist who builds ideas slowly into cascades of melodic ideas… highly imaginative tunes and
expansive, melodic solos.” Time Out

“A choosy, patient storyteller, if one of his distinctive original themes only requires a handful of notes and a lot of spaces, he leaves it like that.” The Guardian

“Pianist Kit Downes’s slender frame and shy demeanor hide a lightening musical intelligence and an engagingly slow-burn energy.” The Daily Telegraph

Stunning new jazz group from the UK”
Olaf Maikopf, Jazzthetik 2012 ****

“One of the finest pianists of his generation” Timeout Magazine ****

“Kit Downes is the most impressive jazz pianist from England since John Taylor” Hamburger Abendblatt

“Downes is an exceptional talent” Ivan Hewett.” The Telegraph ****

“Downes is a choosy, patient storyteller, and if one of his distinctive original themes only requires a handful of notes and a lot of spaces, he leaves it like that.” 
John Fordham, The Guardian ****



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  • Abbreviations:

    Abbreviations: (as) alto sax, (b) acoustic bass, (bjo) banjo, (bg) bass guitar, (bs) baritone sax, (cl) clarinet, (ct) cornet, (eg) electric guitar, (flg) flugel horn, (g) guitar, (kb) keyboard, (p) piano, (perc) percussion, (sousa) sousaphone, (t) trumpet, (tr) trombone, (ts) tenor sax, (vtr) valve trombone, (vibes) vibraphone, (viol) violin, (voc) voice.

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