EP Review: Rich Meehan Trio – Suite Antinque

The Breakdown

Suite Antique, the debut EP from Rich Meehan Trio is jam packed with ideas, it's hard to believe this is the trios first release. It's bold, musically unrelenting, fun, emotionally aware and impeccably put together.

Having burst onto the scene, gaining instant support from BBC Introducing and Jazz FM, Rich Meehan Trio have now released their first full EP Suite Antique.

Setting the tone with the EP’s opener ‘Prelude’, the trio quickly introduce their unique contemporary jazz sound. Immediately opening with Rich Meehan’s lead piano with spacious and warming chords, the trio quickly introduce subtle electronics to the mix which dance around the soundscape. Tight, grounding drums courtesy of Paul Glover soon enter before a deep grounding bass from James Newman pulsing the track together. Already showcasing their impeccable ability as performers with some complex key changes, ‘Prelude’ serves to immediately pull you in the cross-genre, classical-jazz-chillout sound that the band posses before the trio explore their sound further.

Blending straight into track two, ‘Carillon’, an uplifting, unrelenting track with some striking instrumentals which continuously jump from one idea to another in a hypnotic, spell binding manner. Twinkling piano interlocks with a syncopated bass line which metallic synths grind subtly in the background. moving from moments of beauty to sections which feel more unsettling and cinematic, this is the trio at their best – able to glue together multiple key changes and changing rhythms in a fascinating display of musicality and prowess.

‘Gavot’ continues this trend, this time leaning towards a swaying, loungey, classic jazz feel by Rich Meehan’s standard, but this is still an exercise in how to take jazz beyond the remit and restraint of its genre. Swaying and more restrained than other tracks from the EP, ‘Gavot’ still packs expansive bass and dystopian sounding electronics to give the track a subtle edge as Meehan showcases yet more of his prowess as a pianist.

‘Gymnopedie’ takes a more atmospheric approach with a swelling synth which underlines the delicate piano playing from Rich creating a gentle, otherworldly soundscape which sways section to section in a stunning, beautiful journey through cinematic highs and melancholic lows. For me the highlight of the EP.

Closing the 5 track release with ‘Toccata’, a futuristic, high tempo, shuffling track full of quirky moments and a feverish intensity, the trio finish the EP on a high note, showcasing yet more of their musical complexity and amazing abilities as instrumentalists.

Suite Antique is jam packed with ideas, it’s hard to believe this is the trio’s first release. It’s bold, musically unrelenting, fun, emotionally aware and impeccably put together. Rich Meehan Trio showcase themselves as three top class musicians with bags of talent who are not afraid to push boundaries, to try and make a sound which is unique to them without going too far into an experimental, self indulgent realm. The music holds just enough restraint to retain an element of bliss despite the rampant key changes and unrelenting nature of the ever changing melodies.

A really solid, infinitely interesting debut but more than that, a supremely exciting introduction to a trio that have limitless potential.

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