Carole Nelson Trio: Night Vision — Let the music drift over you

Carlow-based musician’s free and genteel piano playing is to the fore of this album

Night Vision
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Artist: Carole Nelson Trio
Genre: Jazz
Label: Black Stairs Records

Carlow-based musician Carole Nelson and her two integral collaborators (Cormac O’Brien, bass, and Dominic Mullan, drums) follow their 2020 album, Arboreal, with yet another fresh batch of instrumental tracks that pivot around things that (almost) glow in the dark. The idea behind the album started several months after the release of Arboreal; pandemic restrictions had well and truly kicked in, giving Nelson — solitary yet acutely attentive — time to think and write in a Mayo-based artist’s residency.

The keywords dovetailing in her mind at that time, she writes in the album’s liner notes, were “deeper still”. When she returned home, the two words took on a weightier significance, with Nelson embarking on what she terms “an inward spiritual journey” that involved observing the wider landscape around her and the micro-environment in and outside her house.

The results of such mindful scrutinising form the fluid and improvisatory shapes of Night Vision. Nelson’s free and genteel piano playing is to the fore, with her no-nonsense, no-frills work on Chrysalis, Dreaming of a Snake, And Still the Birds Sing, the title track, The Silence of Clouds, and Meditation opening up real possibilities to just sit back and let the music drift over and into you. O’Brien and Mullan, too, add relatable textures and depths, and it all adds up to a record of blissful opportunities.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture