Amazon.com Widgets

InterStatic: Arise (2014)

By Published: | 2,257 views
InterStatic: Arise How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Its beginnings may have been a little closer to the jazz side of the jazz-rock equation with Anthem (PVY Records, 2011), but British expat keyboardist Roy Powell
Roy Powell
b.1965
organ, Hammond B3
's and trio with Norwegian guitarist Jacob Young
Jacob Young
Jacob Young
b.1970
guitar
and drummer Jarle Vespestad has, since changing its moniker to InterStatic with the release of its first album on UK's RareNoiseRecords label, InterStatic (2012), ratcheted up the energy, the volume and the rock quotient. If InterStatic was the trio's first shot across the bow, then Arise is InterStatic's true statement of intent.

The trio continues to explore the space first innovated by drummer Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
1945 - 1997
drums
in his late '60s/early '70s Lifetime band with organist Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young
1940 - 1978
organ, Hammond B3
and newly emigrated guitar legend-in-the-making, John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
b.1942
guitar
, but just like fellow Nords Elephant9, InterStatic has far more up its sleeve. While Lifetime's Emergency! (Polydor, 1969) is a clear precedent and inspiration for InterStatic and Arise, it's far from the only one; if Lifetime's record was a dense, jagged and jumbled affair that never got off the ground as it deserved, InterStatic uses far cleaner lines and crisper delineations to make music that sometimes swings and sometimes rocks but is always delivered with 120% energy and commitment.

Arise is bookended by two versions of the rocking, anthemic "Doozy Mugwump Blues," two of three tracks contributed by Young to Powell's six along with the more aggro-toned "In the Beginning." From the gritty opening guitar chords, and Vespestad's four-on-the-floor bass drum and near-military march snare drum support, "Doozy" is so diametrically opposed to the music Young has been making for ECM—from 2004's Evening Falls through to Forever Young, released earlier this year—as to almost suggest a completely different guitarist, though Young's recent ECM date did demonstrate a simmering hint of the more searing capabilities that define his work with InterStatic.

Powell's episodic "Frank'll Fix It"—at times a two-chord wonder that rocks righteously but elsewhere something altogether knottier and more idiosyncratic—may be eminently less hummable than "Doozy," but is nevertheless an even more captivating listen. Its harsher extremes, with Vespestad's thundering kit and a breathtaking central line—played in unison by Powell and the positively grunge-toned Young—demonstrates, in a just a single bar, InterStatic's staggering virtuosity. It's a rare, explicit example of an undercurrent that is rarely used as anything more than a means to a more decidedly collective end.

Vespestad is always the perfect accompanist for any context—from his early groundbreaking days with noise improv unit Supersilent
Supersilent
Supersilent

band/orchestra
and more muscular work with Farmers Market
Farmers Market
Farmers Market

band/orchestra
, heard most recently on the stellar Slav to the Rhythm (Division, 2012), to the paradoxically whisper-quiet quality of his work with pianist Tord Gustavsen
Tord Gustavsen
Tord Gustavsen
b.1970
piano
, seen just a month ago at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal—and he's no less ideal here. Whether effortlessly shifting meters on Powell's jagged "Caerbannong," the keyboardist soloing on an uncredited synth with bubbling and burbling electro-sonics, or swinging with fierce intensity on "Alpha Dog," where Young delivers an incendiary solo, making crystal clear that his undeniably fine ECM recordings are but one aspect of a much broader purview, Vespestad is InterStatic's foundation and the glue that keeps it all together He even references the influential Jon Christensen
Jon Christensen
Jon Christensen
b.1943
drums
's delicate cymbal work on Powell's "Iwato," were Young's soaring guitar and Powell's dark chords suggest another InterStatic touchstone in Terje Rypdal
Terje Rypdal
Terje Rypdal
b.1947
guitar
's classic Descendre (ECM, 1980).

But reference points only serve to contextualize the music of a trio that has, increasingly, asserted its own voice in the three years since Anthem, honing it even further with regular gigs at Oslo's small but wonderfully funky Sound of Mu. As InterStatic continues to evolve a jazz of the most progressive kind, Arise is, perhaps, a call-to-arms for those who've not yet acquainted themselves with this freewheeling, high octane trio. A group that seems to gain strength and resolve with each recording, if Arise is any indication, the future for InterStatic is filled with even greater promise and possibilities.

Track Listing: Doozy Mugwump Blues; Caerbannog; Alpha Dog; Iwato; Frank'll Fix It; In the Beginning; Alexa; Wonderfall; Doozy (reprise).

Personnel: Roy Powell: Hammond organ; Jacob Young: electric guitar; Jarle Vespestad: drums.

Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google