Roger Powell — Fossil Poets
(Inner Knot INK 0680, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01Roger Powell is best known as long-time keyboardist for Utopia as well as his early pioneering synthesizer records (Cosmic Furnace and Air Pocket). Fossil Poets is his first set of new recordings in quite some time; Powell has had a few compositional ideas which had not come to fruition until he met up with co-producer Gary Tanin. Tanin was literally instrumental in shoring up many of the keyboardist's arrangements as well as suggesting Greg Koch who fills a guitar ace role across the fifteen tracks. Best examples of this collaboration are the opening cut, "Lone Gunman," "Underwater City" and "Serpentine." "Gunman" slowly builds tension with Koch in the background eventually coming foreground in the moody track. "Underwater City" suggests simply that with a bubbly synth intro offset by Koch's understated hammer-ons and shuddering sound effects. Lastly, "Serpentine" is perhaps the most like recent Jeff Beck recordings also including guitar ace Jennifer Batten. The modern semi-techno rhythms offer much to the guitarist as a suitable platform for cranking up the amp and letting it fly. Two contrasting acoustic piano pieces are signposts on the disc: "Dauphine" and "Astrae." The former short piece carries a pensive autumnal theme while the closing track is lighter but still poignant. The mix across the disc is one of the key successes of the recording with a unique blend between electronics and instrumentals that generates a homegrown vibe. In summary, Powell and associates have created a project fans of Jeff Beck's recent work will fully embrace.
Related artist(s): Roger Powell
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more