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Uniting musicians from several parts of Europe, Copenhagen-based band Flux has the kind of restless cosmopolitan energy that its name seems to suggest. On Peninsulator the group plays its very own brand of postmodern jazz, referencing a wealth of styles from post-bop to classical, rock, and world music, while still being able to forge its own sprawling identity.
At the heart of the group's sound lies the interplay between guitarist Per Arne Ferner and flutist Mikkel Breck. On the opener, the playfully titled "Albino African Endangered Rhino," they create an attack of unison lines, complemented by Marc Lohr's forceful drumming that changes from a solid beat to a full-fledged drum and bass rhythm.
Taking care of the groove, bassist Jesper Thorn navigates safely through the complex rhythms and melodies, "Trance and Dental" being a prime example with its high-speed tempo, spiraling breaks, and ornate faux-classical figures.
Pianist Simon Lennert balances the occasional fury of Ferner and Breck and contributes his delicate chords to some of the most lyrical moments on the album, such as the soothing ballad "Descent of the Cosmic Bullfrog," but he also shows himself to be capable of the kind of left field approach that this group requires.
Peninsulator is a joyful roller coaster of youthful, exuberant energy. Filled with confidence and zest, Flux translates their eclectic approach into melodic explosions where the swirling dance of the flute meets the edginess of strings and modern grooves. Be prepared to be sucked in by the turbulence of the group's sound in the future.
Track Listing: Albino African Endangered Rhino; How To Greet The Big Cheese; Peninsulator; Forget It, It's Chinatown; And How To Heal The Upper Nest; Trance And Dental; Descent Of The Cosmuc Bullfrog; These Are The Pixie Graveyards; The Black Sheep Of Changing The Subject; Sight.
Personnel: Per Arne Ferner: guitar; Mikkel Breck: flute; Simon Linnert: piano; Marc Lohr: drums, percussion; Jesper Thorn: bass.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.