The genre-defying triumvirate of adept pianist, organist, and composer Roy Powell, guitarist Jacob Young and drummer Jarle Vespestad comes out blazing with a vengeance on InterStatic, their self-titled RareNoiseRecords debut and second release overall, following their ambitious 2011 outing, Anthem. Seamlessly combining elements of jazz, experimental, ambient and rock, the scintillating power trio stretches in typically intense fashion, extending the organ trio tradition established by Jimmy Smith and taken to realms beyond on such groundbreaking recordings as Tony Williams Lifetime’s Emergency! (with Larry Young and John McLaughlin) and John Abercrombie’s Timeless (with Jan Hammer and Jack DeJohnette).
“I love all the organ players who have redefined the instrument and kept it relevant to successive generations,” says Hammond B-3 maestro Powell, who contributes six compositions on InterStatic in a news release. “That includes modern day players like Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel. I´m also very influenced by the sound of pipe organ music such as that of Olivier Messiaen, which I find to be almost an out of body listening experience.” Powell also performed on two recent RareNoiseRecords releases, bassist Lorenzo Feliciati’s Frequent Flyer and Naked Truth’s Shizaru.
With the remarkably flexible drummer Jarle Vespestad (known for his work with Tord Gustavsen, Silje Nergaard, Supersilent, and Farmers Market) alternating between deliberate, big-as-a-house backbeats to surging swing grooves to dreamy rubato playing, and Nordic guitar star Jacob Young summing up myriad tones and textures on his heavily-effected axe, Powell underscores with velvety B-3 cushions while layering on affecting organ melodies and Moog synth solos throughout this evocative collection.
Says Powell, a British émigré living in Oslo, “The music on InterStatic is a change in direction from Anthem in the sense that we were feeling our way on the first one and now we have found it. On this new recording we deliberately wanted to reference (Norwegian guitarist) Terje Rypdal and a general early ECM influence together with more modern bands like Air, Washed Out and post-punk bands like The Durutti Column. In other words, a mix of influences both old and new.”
Adds Young, “InterStatic has a stronger sense of direction than our previous album Anthem had, it has more of an innovative touch than traditional. Much of this has to do with concrete discussions we had about the musical direction we wanted to explore when rehearsing. Essentially, we got bored with making another album that sounded like something we had either done before or heard before. We wanted to get more out and away from the typical jazz scene in Norway and needed a new calling card.”
Powell describes the group’s mission statement on InterStatic: “To create an instrumental organ-guitar-drums band reflecting modern preoccupations, reflecting contemporary musicians’ diverse influences regardless of genre boundaries.”