Shock! - Gareth Williams Power Trio - The Scotsman

Instrumental records are a relative rarity in the Linn jazz catalogue, dominated as it is by vocalists, and often feature artists who have connections with one of those singers. Pianist Gareth Williams will be familiar to many listeners from his work with Claire Martin, but is given his head here with regular collaborators Laurence Cottle on bass and Ian Thomas on drums. The opening two soft-funk outings are nothing special, but things pick up with a powerful and inventive version of Coltrane's Giant Steps.

He pays direct tribute to Bill Evans on Evans the Piano and implicit homage to the same player in his harmonic approach to several of the tunes, notably the ballad Zelda, and commemorates Welsh bards killed in the First and Second World War on the gospel-tinged For Alun Lewis, Hedd Wyn and The Others.

The Scotsman
23 March 2009