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Powell, Roger: Blue Note Ridge

Before Roger Powell returned to keyboard-driven prog rock instrumentals with Fossil Poets, it had been two decades since any new original music by the off-and-on Utopia keyboardist had appeared. An unreleased electronic album sits somewhere in a vault or on a shelf and a vestige of that recording can be found on the first Audion Records sampler (the label folded fewer than a dozen albums later). And the two years before Poets saw new reissues of Powell's domestically unavailable prog classics Cosmic Furnace and Air Pocket, courtesy of Wounded Bird.

Out of the blue Blue Note Ridge, rather Roger Powell has published another album of original music, though this affair was not cultivated with his arsenal of synthesizers. Perhaps a cue taken from the closing piano piece on Fossil Poets called "Astrae," this is a full serving of impressions on acoustic piano whose mission statement is evident by way of track titles like "Path To The River," "Green Shift," "Shadow Of Pines," and "Valley Fog." Many of the pieces in the first half have nary a seam and almost sound broken into segments from a longer, expansive improvisational suite. The rippling chords and delicate shadings parallel a couple all-piano ventures by ambient icons Harold Budd and Robert Rich. However, Powell isn't concerned with letting each tone ring out into horizontal space; his style, as expected, is much more dynamic and melodic, in line with the styles of, say, Windham Hill's Liz Story and American Gramaphone's Jackson Berkey. A crisp portrait of a special rural haven is realized over the duration of this very focused work, under forty minutes in length an intriguing new side of Roger Powell.


1. Path To The River 2:49
2. Blue In Grey 3:26
3. Blue Note Ridge 3:38
4. Take To The Sky 3:01
5. Snowfall 1:24
6. Green Shift 5:03
7. Flint Hill 2:39
8. Peace And Quiet 2:06
9. Ghost Ripples 1:09
10. Shadow Of Pines 2:42
11. Valley Fog 2:04
12. First Light 2:06
13. Still Point 1:04
14. Watershed 2:38

Added: January 14th 2010
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: Unicorn Digital
Hits: 2152
Language: english

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