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Andrea Brachfeld & Insight: Evolution


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Andrea Brachfeld & Insight: Evolution
Although Andrea Brachfeld's may not be a household name, the versatile flutist and composer has been a well-established and respected presence on New York City's jazz and Afro-Cuban scenes since around 1970. On Evolution, her tenth recording as leader, Brachfeld delves musically into children's issues "and the ongoing need [for] basic necessities even in the best of times," using her time for reflection during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020-21 to find focus and creativity from the ways in which children from various populations express themselves through melody and song.

Having said that, it would be hard for a child of any age who is less than musically astute to connect with Brachfeld's cerebral and sophisticated themes, which never yield to the lowest common denominator. Her melodic arsenal consists of various flutes, some of which Brachfeld plays simultaneously, thanks to overdubbing, as well as kalimba and spoken word ("Child of the Earth"). There is nothing at which she does not excel, regardless of mood or tempo. The other members of Insight—pianist Bill O'Connell, bassist Harvie S, drummer Jason Tiemann—are resolutely in synch with her message and consistently supportive.

Brachfeld and O'Connell are responsible for the album's opening numbers, "What's Up" and "Decimation of Transformation," each of which is bright and swinging. They also wrote "Child of the Earth," "The Unraveling of It All" and the meditative finale, "Being with What Is." Jon Wheeler and Randall Prescott co-wrote the soft-flowing "Qingauitt" (try pronouncing that one), Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi "The Hut Song," Shlomo Carlebach "Ko Ribon." Brachfeld, who takes most of the solos, is a superb improviser, as is O'Connell whenever he is called upon to step forward (as is the case for an extended discourse on "Decimation of Transformation," on which Tiemann also solos). Harvie S takes his solo turn on "Qingauitt."

Even though the children's aspect is more or less muted save for "Child of the Earth," the music itself is consistently engaging and admirably performed by Brachfeld and her teammates. When the sum is totaled, that is what counts most.

Track Listing

What’s Up; Decimation of Transformation; Qingauiit; The Hut Song; Child of the Earth; The Unraveling of it All; Ko Ribon; Being With What Is.


Andrea Brachfeld: flute; Bill O'Connell: piano; Harvie S: bass, acoustic; Jason Tiemann: drums.

Album information

Title: Evolution | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Origin Records

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