There is an element in Powell’s music, maybe it’s the jazz esthetic, that infuses a graceful linear clarity. As each piece is experienced, it seems to curve more often than it corners. The end result for this listener is that I sense the design and logic in each piece, but also the organic, the warmth and beauty of the human heart of the composer.
Part of the success of this collection is due to the chemistry between Powell and the musical coterie on each track. So intimate is the relationship that the performers sound like different incarnations of Powell himself. As such, the listener will not hear many seams between what is prescribed and what is improvised in this collection. When those seams are evident (as on TRR Improv, 2014), the music does not surrender to the mayhem and massiveness that can often occur in group improvisation settings. Instead, the performers contribute collegially and embrace with a like-minded purpose.
There are a great variety of listening experiences in this collection as the instrumentation shifts with each track. Throughout runs the common thread of Powell’s intended message, the delivery of which is patient, well-timed, and as generous to the ears and heart as it is to the intellect.
– Jay Miglia, jazz musician
Miscreant Angels is a truly “fantastic” work for solo piano in that it resembles a “Fantasie” in its exceptional variety of moods, texture and character. It presents a technical challenge on a par with that of the Liszt etudes, the sensitivity of a chopin nocturne and the clarity of the classical composers and yet it is entirely unique in style. It is both powerful and intimate, virtuosic and poignant.
Waterclown is a masterpiece! It is a perfect interweaving of ensemble, solo and improvisational elements that transports the listener into another time, into another world.
Martirano’s performance is masterful and inspired! A significant work for the solo violinist who can integrate jazz elements, improvisation and the virtuosity of the Esaye solo sonatas.
FP Improv: Hilariously Brilliant!
– Dr. Ariane Alexander, pianist
More reviews of ON AND OFF THE SCORE