Flutey Pebbles: Krzysztof Popek, Trio Fo, Carlos Bechegas/Reuben Radding & Yael Acher
Carlos Bechegas/Reuben Radding
Four flutists offer mellow quintet (Kryzsztof Popek), free trio (Trio Fo), free duo (Carlos Bechegas/Reuben Radding) and electronic/solo (Yael Acher) settings.
On You Are in My Heart, Popek plays warbly, easy-going alto flute (in G, down a fourth from concert flute) in front-line with Piotr Wojtasik's tidy flugelhorn, assuring mellow weavings and rounded unisons on this straight-ahead quintet date. Handpicked melodies by trumpeters (Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker), reedmen (Larry Schneider's "Tomato Kiss , Wayne Shorter's "Virgo ), pianist Kenny Barron ("Voyage , "Cook's Bay ) and a polite waltz from The King and I, assure material variety, but the date foot-pedals to achieve lift-off. Popek's loose-limbed lines and curious thought processes feel less snooze controlled than deliberate and his leisurely momentum is spurred largely by reasoned propulsion from rhythm veterans, Dave Friesen (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums). Randy Porter supplies pleasing piano solos.
The free flutes of Trio Fo's BReAkinG sILEnCe supply breezy background soundtracks, with few hooks, unobtrusively helpful for wrinkle-free traffic driving. Neil Metcalfe's C flute skitters, slashes over largely undifferentiated open fields in flutter-tongued whispers. Nick Stephens' bass (25% bowing) and Tony Marsh's drums purr along same-same with medium dynamics and dryish textures to meticulous if somewhat tedious effect.
On Open Between, Bechegas (C and alto flute) and Radding (50% arco!) broaden their arrays of texture and dynamic, but in apparently aimless butterfly flight. An unrelentingly speedy, breathy title track zooms 11 minutes into harmonics fadeout, then the two chill with voice/flute duos. Crazy-making singsong jumbled with overtones and harmonics enrich Bechegas' naturalism, like the mad hodgepodge of a Yellow-headed Blackbird ("Contemporary Joke ) or a whacked-out Amazonian jungle bird ("Best Angular Piece ) oft-captured by Peruvian folk-flutists.
Oddly, Acher's solo album (La Belle Ombre) easily affords the most drama, pouring a fluid skein of 21 miniatures like dream droplets. "Sketch 5/12 weaves electronic atmospherics and a quiet bell peal. Her set is all originals but for a crisp yet warmly expressive seven-minute solo Paul Hindemith suite. "Suite for the Spirits conjures water nymphs with subaqueous wow, drifting overdub interplay, wavy arpeggios, eerie inhalations. Sophisticated multitracks and electronics create glinting, spooky "Audio Images .
Tracks and Personnel
You Are In My Heart
Tracks: Visions of Gaudi; Hello young lovers; Virgo; Tomato kiss; Cook's bay; You are in my heart; Voyage; Just groovin'
Personnel: Krzysztof Popek: alto flute; Piotr Wojtasik: trumpet; fluegelhorn; Randy Porter: piano; David Friesen: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.
Tracks: Breaking Silence I; II; III; IV; V; VI.
Personnel: Neil Metcalfe: flute; Nick Stephens: bass; Tony Marsh: drums
Personnel: Carlos Bechegas: flutes; Reuben Radding: bass
La Belle Ombre
Tracks: I Adagio; II Cantilena-memoire; III Menuet-ad Libitum; IV Vivacissimo; V Espressivo-per due voci; VI Sarabande-ad Libitum; VII Scherzando; VIII Dolce Sketch 5/12; I Gemächlich; II Scherzando; III Sehr Langsam; IV Gemächlich; V Sehr Lebhaft; VI Lied; VII Rezitativ; VIII Final; Cinematique; I Voices & Timpani; II Flute Frequency; III Greek Noise; VI Illuminations.
Personnel: Yael Acher: flutes