6/17/2009 - Montreal, Qc, Canada - Unicorn Digital is proud to announce that legendary keyboardist RogerPowell (Utopia, David Bowie, Meat Loaf) has signed a deal with the label to release Blue Note Ridge, a collection of improvisations that embrace classical melody, contemporary harmony and impressionist forms on this debut solo piano album.
A stream of consciousness merging styles and eras, Blue Note Ridge is pure, elegant and honest. In the 70’s and 80’s Roger Powell’s groundbreaking electronic synthesizer albums Cosmic Furnace (Atlantic) and Air Pocket (Bearsville) were hailed as masterworks. Best known for his work with pioneering musical ensemble Utopia (featuring Todd Rundgren), as well as inventing the 'Probe' keyboard, Powell has always been held in high esteem by his peers.
"Even among the keyboard titans of the progrock Seventies, Roger Powell always stood out." (Future Music U.S. Ed.- June 2006).
2006 signaled a welcome return of Roger Powell with the retrofuturistic, groove oriented, Fossil Poets (Inner Knot CD/Vinyl LP). The critically acclaimed release was produced by award winning producer Gary Tanin who, along with Powell, produced the 2009 solo piano offering Blue Note Ridge. "For many years, I have wanted to release a solo piano recording, as the piano is my main instrument from high school days onward," Roger explains. "There were a few piano segments and pieces on my other albums, as well as on Utopia recordings, but I had never done a full album of solo piano."
Here's what the music press have been saying about Blue Note Ridge:
"Although he's best known to rock fans as a synth/keyboard wizard, Roger Powell is also one fine piano player, as evidenced throughout his 2009 solo release, Blue Note Ridge. Working once more with producer Gary Tanin, a good representation of the album would be such standouts as the album opening "Path to the River", as well as "Take To The Sky", the latter of which was adapted from the George Gershwin classic "Summertime". Once and for all, Blue Note Ridge proves that there is not a musical style that Roger Powell isn't comfortable tickling the ivories to." - Greg Prato, All Music Guide
"This 36-minute collection of 14 solo piano pieces is not the kind of album listeners might expect, especially after 2006's Fossil Poets. The warm elegant pieces on Blue Note Ridge are flecked with melancholy and create a musical stream of consciousness. Some pieces border on New Age, but the music here provides audio tranquility as serene as the album's title." - Michael Popke, Goldmine Magazine
"With serenity always on the horizon, the pieces gathered on "Blue Note Ridge" are tastefully jagged like the sparkingly sparse "Flint Hill" or the opener "Path To The River" which has a nicely poised swing to it. Elsewhere "Take To The Sky" pays a tribute to George Gershwin's "Summertime", and there's Chopin-like majesty in "First Light" where the blues-skewed dissonance plays a mind game. When the droplets of "Watershed" awash the ears, all these improvisations leave so much to imagination that a new spin of the disc feels necessary to have something fresh revealed every time." -
Dmitry Epstien - DDME.NET
"The inspiration behind the album was my desire to record some music in a very direct and simple setting: just me and the piano, no synthesizers, electronics or complex mixing," says Roger. "All the tracks were completely improvised, spontaneously composed. I would just sit down at the piano, turn on the stereo recorder and play. From several hours worth of raw material, we selected a set of pieces that express the overall mood of introspection and exploration."
Blue Note Ridge will be available on July 14, 2009. For more information visit Roger Powell's official website:
Gary Tanin/Daystorm Music
Glass Onyon PR