Posted by lisarinehart
on Aug 30, 2012 in Audios
| Comments Off on Ben Powell – In the Footsteps of Jazz Fiddle Royalty
Monday, Aug. 27, I listened to an “All Things Considered” story about a young jazz violinist, Ben Powell. I’d never heard of Powell, or of his idol Stephane Grappelli, but the story was compelling because in just 6 ½ minutes you got a sense of Powell’s passion and talent, as well as that of the players that shaped his style. There were sound bites from Powell explaining how he first learned classical violin, then taught himself jazz by listening to Grappelli’s recordings from the 20’s and 30’s. We hear Grappelli’s music juxtaposed with Powell’s and the influence is clear, as is Powell’s technical virtuosity. There’s a great moment when Powell plays with pianist Tim Ray and the ambient sound really gives you a feel for how they work together. Finally, conductor Keith Lockhart explains that he was so impressed with Powell that he took a demo recording of the then 18[year-old Powell to the Berkeley Conservatory of Music in Boston. Powell was accepted into the jazz strings program where he is currently a student. Music plays throughout and is as integral to the story as the text which really gives the listener a feel for the world of a...