From the New Orleans Jazz Museum and the 2018 ZMR Awards – where they won Zone Music Reporter’s Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album – to the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, FLOW continues to create a buzz around a spirited and dynamic musical synergy worthy of its cool moniker.
A press release by Beth Hilton – The B Company
The ensemble’s soulful all-original, genre-transcendent vibe has been described as a fresh, international acoustic sound rooted in the classic tradition of Windham Hill, the label founded by one of the group’s members, GRAMMY®-winning guitarist Will Ackerman. If you ask the ensemble – which includes Australian pianist/singer Fiona Joy, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt and trumpet and flugelhorn player Jeff Oster – they’ll simply say, “We’re just good friends making music together.”
Perfectly reflective of that warm and organic familial concept, the foursome have invited some very talented friends to join their performances along the way, from “regulars” like album co-producer Tom Eaton and Jeff Haynes, to guests Erik Scott, Kathryn Kaye, Todd Boston, Eugene Friesen, and Vin Downes. Their highly anticipated tour kicked off May 10th at The New Orleans Jazz Museum, included a performance at the 14th Annual Zone Music (ZMR) Awards at Roussel Hall in New Orleans on May 12th, continued this past Tuesday in Seattle and Thursday in Marin. It wraps with a performance at Los Angeles’ famed GRAMMY® Museum tonight; remaining tickets are limited.
In his review of last weekend’s ZMR Awards, renowned music tastemaker John Diliberto, host of the acclaimed radio show Echoes (PRI), wrote, that FLOW “played a set of tunes from their debut album that revealed their subtle, intuitive interplay, music that values the tapestry of sound over individual threads…they created a music of subtle shadings and slowly decanted moods…”
The music of FLOW is graceful and atmospheric, with a rhythmic ease that found an early audience and feature stories in Billboard and Keyboard Magazine. Michael Foster, editor of Ambient Visions, described their sold-out Weill Hall debut at Carnegie Hall in October 2017 as “a gratifying aural journey to hear these four remarkable musicians set aside their ambitions or expectations about what the album should be in favor of allowing it to be formed entirely through their interactions as a group into something greater than each one would have been capable of doing on their own.”
Released last October, their self-titled debut album FLOW debuted at #4 debut on Billboard’s New Age chart, The collection has since earned a spot on several “Best of 2017” lists, followed by an IMA win for Best New Age Album, and capped off last weekend with its two Zone Music Reporter Awards. Five professional music videos and a documentary support the album.
Covering last Tuesday’s Seattle concert at The Royal Room, veteran Jazz critic Dick Metcalf noted “a truly amazing display of bardic talent in a two-hour show that had each and every listener hushed to full-quiet mode…I give FLOW a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”
According to guitarist/producer Blatt, owner of LMB Music in San Francisco, it was his passion for jazz fusion that sparked the idea of an ensemble. “The inspiration comes from Chick Corea’s classic ‘70s all-star band Return to Forever with Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola, who joined forces, wrote music and produced a sound that was more powerful than any of their individual works,” he says. “That was the idea, bringing great musicians together with this kind of concept. When I started thinking about who it might be, my thoughts turned naturally to Jeff and Fiona. We knew pretty quickly that this was going to develop into something.”
FLOW is planning a number of performances throughout the U.S. in 2018, including another date at Carnegie Hall this September 2018; for more information, videos, social media links, and future concert dates visit www.FlowTheGroup.com.