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Sunday, October 12, 2014

CD Review: Eyeshutight – Resonance

Johnny Tomlinson (piano & keyboards), Paul Baxter (double bass) & Kristoffer Wright (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Eyeshutight (Eyes Shut Tight) hit the road mid-October to promote their third album. Resonance resonates with the quiet, reflective approach adopted and refined by a tour-hardened, working trio. Formed in 2010 by bassist Paul Baxter, Eyeshutight draw on myriad influences; twentieth century classical composition, contemporary pop and the inevitable cult of small group jazz outfits – Keith Jarrett, the Bad Plus, EST.
Eight tracks recorded at Valleywood Studios, Leeds present a cohesive musical vision. The title track – Resonance – opens the album with typical understatement. A stillness permeates the writing; focused, deliberate, the melody marinating in the ether. Johnny Tomlinson’s piano statements emerge blinking into the sunlight on several tracks then never overplaying his hand, take refuge in the shade. Kristoffer Wright’s drumming is that of a percussionist, adapting his fulsome technique to the trio sound (deploying the use of mallets with great sensitivity) and Baxter is the least demonstrative of bassists – the quiet essence of the music.
Several tracks have been heard in concert and this recording presents (and documents) the trio’s musical development to date. The Precipice crackles with restrained power, a use of keyboards alongside acoustic piano adds to Tomlinson’s palette throughout the recording and repeated listening to Resonance will reward the attentive listener.
Resonance is released by Hungry Bear Records (HBR001) on 21 October 2014. The trio can be heard on tour during October and November (inc. the Jazz Café, Newcastle, October 24).                 
Russell.

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