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As band names go, this is one with a range of possible meanings. Some searching shows that it's actually been used by a handful of different outfits ranging from punk-metal to experimental electronics. The Flown from Modena, Italy, meanwhile, finds a niche blending an insistent sense of rhythm with the looseness of free-jazz improv. They sound like they've flown away from not just the earth, but the more obvious notions of structure and harmony as well.
If they don't decide exactly how their own structures and harmonies should come out on this debut outing, that's not really the pointthese three seem to consider exploring an end in itself. Aficionados of analog keyboards doubtlessly understand the joy of tweaking tones and twiddling knobs just for the fun of it. There are vaguely spacey '80s sci-fi tones, lounge-style Wurlitzer and psychedelic weirdness all spun around the same sense of free-floating melody. Wet and wobbly electric guitar amplifies the effect with a whammy effect often taking it slightly in and out of tune. There's an underlying deliberation beneath the semi-abstract sheen, a balancing act that should be appealingly familiar to fans of The Claudia Quintet.
However floaty it gets, Flown is consistently tied together with a rhythmic pulse at the center. It's not usually a comfortable pulsethere's often a jumpy irregularity a cardiologist would instinctively panic overbut the glitchtronica-inspired bed insistently propels most of the affair nonetheless. "Ask to the Mist" makes a relaxing highlight where everyone coasts in step and (mostly) forgoes the rougher edges. "The Chase" temporarily wanders off the trail into open abstraction before resuming the hunt. The frenetic "Haiti" puts the band's electric sounds through the wringer in classic sci-fi-score style, while the instruments' lines gradually unspool over the album's final extended stretch like wisps of smoke dissipating into the air. Flown has fun pulling and stretching at tonality as much as the sounds of the actual instruments, establishing an ear-challenging identity that never quite sounds like anybody else.
Track Listing: Private Room;
On The Bus;
Ask to The Mist;
The Lone Runner.
Personnel: Andrea Cappi: keyboards;
Pietro Monari; guitar;
Riccardo Vandelli: drums; Emiliano Vernizzi: saxophone.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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