Roy Powell: Solace (2003)
Solace is Powell's fourth CD under his own name, with a stated mission to "bring hope in a time of pain and grief. It is my belief," Powell writes, "that in such times as these, the need for beauty is greater than ever. The quiet, simple voice speaks loudly..." All very true, and again, in other hands this might turn into a noble excuse for aimless noodling. Solace is dreamy but not drifting: there's structure, melody and dynamic flow to its nine lovely compositions, starting with the title track, where bassist Terje Gewelt's use of spaces adds to the sensation of gentle rocking. The repeating left-hand figures in "Love's Circles" express its hopeful continuity, while "Rendezvous" has just a hint of salsa in its relaxed swing. There's a classical/impressionistic feel to much of Solace, especially on the lovely solo piece "Nymphs."
The CD closes on a hopeful note with a medium bossa and some hand drumming from the fine and subtle Jarle Vespestad. Apart from some over-bassing here and there (mostly on tracks 2 and 3), this is a very soothing CD – an ideal soundtrack for a rainy Sunday afternoon, or after a hard day at work. Solace: exactly.
Track Listing: Solace, Another Time, Another Place; Love's Circles, Rendezvous, The Garden's Song, Nymphs, Lament, Absolution, My Beatrice
Personnel: Roy Powell (piano), Terje Gewelt (bass), Jarle Vespestad (drums)
Record Label: nagel heyer records
Style: Modern Jazz