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Ben Powell

New Street

(Self-released; US: 15 May 2012; UK: 15 May 2012)

Violin virtuoso displays his talent as a player and composer on debut LP.

Ben Powell’s New Street is a work that’s often enthralling and thrilling in equal measure. Deftly moving through jazz and classical influenced set pieces, including the album’s centerpiece “Gary” (originally written by Stéphane Grappelli and composed for Gary Burton, it’s a track that’s never been officially released), while maintaining a sense of coherency. What saves the album from dipping into redundancy, which has been an unfortunate trend in recent classical releases, is Powell’s brilliant voicing which carries New Street through to a very satisfactory end. While the first half’s material is more exciting than the latter half, New Street is still a worthwhile listen all the way through and aptly showcases Powell’s potential. If New Street is any indication, he’ll be worth following.

Rating:

Steven is a writer, musician, and filmmaker from Wisconsin who has spent his fair share of time in the entertainment trenches. He frequently contributes reviews and interviews to Playground Misnomer, which can be accessed here: http://www.playgroundmisnomer.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @unbusyinwi.


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