Monday, September 23, 2013

InterStatic and Anthem by InterStatic

(This is my third attempt at writing this.)

InterStatic's self-titled second album will definitely be on my year-end list of favorite music. By the end of my first listen-through I was hooked and proceeded to listen to it exclusively for the next three days. Finally, playing it at home on a good audio system cemented my appreciation of it as more of its intimate details were revealed.

InterStatic is a trio consisting of Roy Powell (Hammond organ, Moog, and electronics), Jacob Young (guitars), and Jarle Vespestad (drums). InterStatic (the album) is comprised of 10 tracks: Stills, First Vision, Flatland 1, Washed Up, Reel Time, InterStatic, Water Music, The Elverum Incident, Americana, and Flatland 2.

What struck me first about InterStatic is Powell's use of the Hammond. His evocative playing of the organ gives InterStatic an undeniable charm, an analog patina that is vocal in its richness. But by no means is InterStatic a one-trick pony. These three musicians give new meaning to ensemble playing - each coaxes maximal breadth and depth of expression from his instrument while simultaneously demonstrating an effortless, balanced interplay with his bandmates. This is progressive jazz at its best.

One of my favorite tracks, Stills, which perfectly demonstrates the interplay of these three musicians. This tune makes me smile every time I hear it.

The band's first album, Anthem, was actually recorded under the name Young, Powell & Vestespad, the name InterStatic not being coined until the second album. To my ear it's a much more in the standard jazz genre (So in Love is a Cole Porter tune) although there are hints at what may be coming in the future. Anthem delivers nine tracks: Time Changes, Wayward, Body of Memory, Advance with Caution, So in Love, Anthem, Ă„qual, Elegy, When Time is All. The standout for me is the title track Anthem (please watch this YouTube video).

Any fan of progressive jazz should purchase InterStatic right now.

Of course, if you're also an engineer like me you'll also appreciate InterStatic's CD sleeve which features two views of streamlines over a wing - a side view and a top view, the latter showing the wing tip vortices. That's icing on the cake.

InterStatic is available from Rare Noise Records who have also posted a YouTube playlist of the band's work. The band's website is Roy Powell's website is

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

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