On his band's second album, pianist Carl Maguire creates a musical experience that is really out of the ordinary, mixing lots of extended techniques, with cinematic imagery, eery sounds and beautiful soloing. The band, Floriculture, consists of Stephanie Griffin on viola, Oscar Noriega on clarinet, bass clarinet and alto saxophone, John Hébert on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums, all young yet already very experienced musicians. Together they weave sound that are unpredictable yet at the same time welcoming in their sensuality and precision. The pieces are composed and structured, yet leaving lots of room for improvisation. I think that even some of the most avant-garde parts, with just sounds overlapping sounds, were carefully prepared, because they all fit so perfectly well to create a mood. The most astonishing aspect of the music is its great musical vision and coherence, with many changes in orchestration, rhythms, moods, even within one piece, yet it all fits in the overall sound. It is nothing you've heard before, a wonderful mix of many known things, but then just not. It is different, and no matter how much you listen to it, you will discover new things. The musical world Maguire creates is not always a pleasant one: it is full of tension, agony, fear and dramatic evolution, yet beauty abounds. A great record.
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