Shock! - Gareth Williams Power Trio - Bass Guitar Magazine
Welsh pianist and keyboardist Gareth Williams has forged a highly regarded reputation as a one of the UK's first call sidemen to cream of the UK jazz scene for the likes of Jim Mullen, Iain Ballamy, Martin Taylor and Claire Martin. It's the latter singer whose band he's been a regular member of alongside bass monster Laurence Cottle who also joins him here, along with A-list session drummer Ian Thomas. While Williams refers to this band as a Power Trio, theirs is a subtle strength that underpins a very accessible but sophisticated jazz set on ‘Shock!' Williams is proudly retro in his dress sense and it's his gloriously warm Fender Rhodes that adds a perfect bittersweet bite to the likes of the title track's bluesy riffing or the catchy, cheeky funk of ‘Keeping Up With The Jones's'. Yet these ‘70s style prog romps contrast beautifully with fleet-fingered acoustic piano workouts on a fiendishly lopsided ‘Giant Steps' or lushly arranged ballads ‘Zelda' and ‘Evans The Piano'. What makes this album even more of a joy is the rhythm section's telepathic interplay, Cottle's staggering virtuosity melting into Thomas' finely contoured grooves and immaculate solos. Cottle is simply in a class of his own as a bass guitarist who can swing like the clappers and solo with fluidity of a saxophonist all with the greatest of ease. An album that reveals new depths on repeat listens Williams and co have cooked up a gem of an album that proves shockingly addictive.