Barbara London: Natural Progression (2004)
Recorded in 1994, Natural Progression features nine originals that allow Barbara London's quartet to improvise naturally over lyrical ideas. The album was released on a limited basis in 1996 and is only now being released nationally.
Her warm flute is featured on most of the arrangements, with a fluid approach and a lyrical undertaking. London expresses mood impressions that take modern jazz for a pleasant stroll. Solo passages from her musical partners complement her heartfelt expression. On her mesmerizing "Northbound Lane," she adds wordless vocals in unison with Larry Baione's guitar, for a soothing effect. The music takes you on a trip through seasons and landscapes.
London sings "Fever Springs the Blues" and romps lightly on flute. Her quiet, flutelike soprano voice lifts her blues up high, while her flute improvisation takes the quartet "low down." They all come together on this one and seem to enjoy interpreting the blues heartily. Similarly, "Around You" casts the blues in the shadow of a plaintive vocal spirit that rides on the shoulders of a strong flute soliloquy for its success.
The quiet chamber jazz feeling that you get from Natural Progression brings sonorous harmony and a pleasant, straight-ahead charm. Solos from guitar and bass add a distinctive air, while London's flute moves though an eclectic array of impressions. She's at her best with her dramatic "Dave's Idea," where flute soars majestically over a light syncopated rhythm. Combining rich harmonies and light rhythms with seasoned solo voices, Barbara London's quartet makes a lasting impression.
Track Listing: For Joe; Friday at Four; Northbound Lane; Under a Krescent Moon; Fever Springs the Blues; Dave's Idea; Around You; Overcast and Underloved; All the Songs You Are.
Personnel: Barbara London- flute, piano, vocals; Larry Baione- guitar; John Lockwood- bass; Rick Kress- drums.