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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Flow Trio - Rejuvenation (ESP, 2009) ****

Flow Trio is a trio of seasoned free jazz musicians : Louie Belogenis on sax, Joe Morris on bass and Charles Downs (aka Rashid Bakr) on drums. The album starts with a Belogenis solo sax piece, a great introduction to bring us in the mood and to establish the setting : this will be free, yet sensitive and restrained music. The second piece confirms this. After a bass intro, the drum joins with a light touch, and Belogenis starts playing a wonderful, disturbing, wailing and weeping sax solo, carrying the whole piece and moving bass and drums along into the same subtle trialogue of barely sustained fragile notes. The third piece, "Pick Up Sticks", is more Ayleresque, with more power in the sax, yet keeping that plaintive tone, that paradox of agonising relief, supported by the rhythm section's possibly most difficult part of the album, keeping the rhythm while avoiding real patterns. "Succor", the fifth track, is another highlight, with Morris playing arco, and playing a great solo, Belogenis moving into more avant-garde cut-off phrases, while Downs has picked up his brushes. You get the drift, emotionality, spirituality, openness, musical explorations and lots of self-discipline. It's the trio's second record, and I prefer it to their live debut album. It's also a great addition to the ESP catalogue, which brings a good balance of re-issues of great jazz works with more modern free jazz.

© stef