Jef Neve Trio Soul in a Picture

Jef Neve Trio Soul in a Picture
The trio's opener, "Remorse," could have been delivered by a choir, its melodies and counterpoint are so sing-able and soulful. But keyboardist John Neve doesn't play saccharine lines. He takes well-grounded, harmonically stable motifs and extends them upward and outward, bitonal colours flickering, muted strings thrumming. His colleagues, Piet Verbist (bass) and Taun Verbruggen (drums and electronics), don't get much space on their own but their contributions to intense burner "Lay Down, Deep Down" are responsive, muscular and engaging. Neve has the gift of being able to play rubato single-note melodies with a feeling of longing, a yearning for earthly transcendence that's almost physically palpable. But Neve doesn't really swing, playing with a classical touch and sense of time. That said, Soul in a Picture is a collection of pieces with a sombre tone that rises above through sheer beauty and eloquence of musicality. (Universal Belgium)