Shock!

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Gareth Williams Power Trio
LABELS: Linn
PERFORMER: Gareth Williams (piano), Laurence Cottle (bass), Ian Thomas (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: AKD 326

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Don’t be misled by the album’s title nor the band’s name: this is not a harder, faster, louder sort of combo. The wow factor in Gareth Williams’s all-Welsh trio comes from projecting controlled, inner power into the music.

And what a programme. Williams’s originals throughout, bar a deft take on Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’, the tunes draw on such varied sources as Welsh choral singing, middle eastern ragas and low down blues.

Leader Williams alternates between glowing electric keyboard phrases and scintillating piano lines. It’s entirely appropriate that he namechecks the late, great romantic Bill Evans in ‘Evans The Piano’. The young Welshman possesses a similarly tender touch.

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But this is a three-dimensional band, with everyone focused and closely involved. Electric bassist Cottle typically transcends his rhythm duties to play detailed riffs. Drummer Ian Thomas likewise is a fascinating sideman in his own right, applying heat without ever overcooking it. Altogether a triumph of Welsh wizardry. Garry Booth