InterStatic serves as the umbrella name for the Oslo-based threesome of organist Roy Powell, guitarist Jacob Young and drummer Jarle Vespestad. Powell, an Englishman, is perhaps best known for his solo debut A Big Sky, which got the jazz community all in a lather in 1994. Since then he’s worked with a raft of talent, most recently Nordic players Young and Vespestad in 2010.
This album is very much a collective effort, though the chief accent is provided by Vespestad, who gives the lie to any daft notions about Norwegians not being able to swing. Young’s guitar lines are very deliberated and considered, providing a grounding of sorts and allowing Powell to extemporise over the top.
They’re billed as a formidable power trio, but theirs is instead a subtle sound favouring the tranquil over the bombastic. First Vision and Water Music are discreet, successful explorations into the inner fringes of ambient jazz. Mostly you’re listening to these compositions and waiting for them to burst open into something else.
Granted, you can’t knock InterStatic’s musicianship, but ultimately this album often sounds far too restrained for its own good.