Quiet Tiger

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Basho Records
PERFORMER: Kit Downes (piano), Calum Gourlay (bass), James Maddren (drums), James Allsop (saxophone), Adrien Dennefeld (cello)


We’ll look back on the start of the 21st century as a golden era for the piano trio and also as a renaissance period for small group British jazz. From the cathartic cacophony of bands such as Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear to the sensitive meanderings of Gwilym Simcock, the UK scene has punched above its weight. Now it’s 24-year-old Kit Downes’s turn in the limelight. With his latest trio-plus-two recording, Downes fulfils his early promise as a thought-provoking pianist and composer. A restrained follow-up to 2009’s debut, Golden, this disc Quiet Tiger creeps carefully into the ear yet grows to leave a big impression on the consciousness. Moving between a Thelonious Monk-like sepia toned swing to the plaintive cry of Ornette Coleman, by way of shimmering Satie-esque meditations, the band’s sound sends pleasurable shivers throughout. Garry Booth