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““Following in the footsteps of the great Stephane Grappelli, Ben Powell has developed a very personal inspired voice on the violin. His ideas flow freely with expression in every kind of music he’s exploring….. It has been a pleasure working with him over the last few years and I look forward to hearing him more in the future. Bravo.””
““Ben Powell is an extraordinary young jazz violinist who has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years into one of the finest jazz violinists in the world. He has absorbed much of the sound and approach of the great Stephane Grappelli and combined it with his own deep musicianship and contemporary attitude to produce jazz violin playing that is both technically scintillating and musically gratifying.””
“With a lovely tone, sophisticated lyricism, and a wonderful sense of swing on classics like “Opportunity,” “Tournesol”, “I Won’t Dance” and the original “Light” from his CD of the same name, Ben Powell plays swing through modern ears, relishishing the genre he “self-discovered” after solid training in classical violin. Enlisting a solid rhythm section, Powell has put his considerable technique to work in his improvisations on uptempo tunes and in ballads like “Andre.” Powell chose his sidemen wisely for the Tanglewood date. Powell’s set was very satisfying listening and it will be interesting to hear how his music develops.”
““Ben, you’ve got it, you’ve got the touch, this little….”je ne sais quoi”. Man, you are up there with the very good ones.””
“It is immediately clear that Powell has a firm grasp of the Grappelli idiom, and of the post-bop jazz language more generally. A few occasional mild lapses aside, his nifty improvisations swing well and fluently, while in the two grappelli numbers, Tournesol and Light, a more languid, rubato-tinged style, reminiscent of European salon music, holds sway. His soupy, jazz ballad version of Danny Boy might be a little hard to swallow for those accustomed to more plaintive interpretations, although it is done with conviction and a variety of decoration. Elsewhere, his penchant for scooped and bent notes sits more easily and is effected naturally, adding to the impression of a man at ease with both instrument and music. This is a fine album and promises much to come from Powell in the future, especially if he moves beyond the standards and records his own music.”