Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Flow, Duos Trios Quintet

Flow is an international collective ensemble devoted to ambient, progressive electric-acoustic jazz. I've covered their music here before on these blogs. Now there is a new one, or a new one to me anyway, Flow: Duos Trios Quintets (Intrinsic).

As before the ensemble appears in various groupings for a free-flowing eclectic program that runs from lyric improvisations to song-like sequences. The lineup for this outing is Cheryl Pyle on flute and poetic mantras, Oddrun Eickli on vocals and song melodies/lyrics (which are sometimes extremely attractive and at any rate always fluent), Axel Weiss on acoustic and electric guitars, compositional structures and a bit of electric piano and bass, Arne Hiorth on trumpet, Stan Zaslavski on piano and organ, and Sean O'Bryan Smith on bass.

They cover much ground, getting into free-tonal playing, sometimes a quasi-Brazilian feel, a bit of rock electricity, and a general anything goes kind of mellowness.

Cheryl's flute and Axel's guitars take on important roles with the stylistic resonance one might come to expect from them, happily. But then Oddrun comes in with a sort of post-Flora-Purim lyricalness, and Stan and Arne have very good moments.

The vocals every now and again might have benefited from one more take, but Oddrun has a most pleasant voice and it is in the end a minor consideration.

This may not be the very best album they have made, but it is musically substantial while being easy on the ears. Axel gives us his vision and some guitar brilliance. And it all most certainly does flow! Hear it!

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