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Wildflower: Season 2

Karl Ackermann By

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On paper, the UK trios Wildflower and Ill Considered bear an obvious resemblance. Each features the outstanding reed player Idris Rahman and bassist Leon Brichard, and both groups are groove-oriented progressive jazz. Wildflower is the slightly more melody-driven and the less raw of the two bands, with intricate improvisations interwoven throughout. Season 2 sees Rahman altering moods with his interchanging of the bass clarinet, bamboo flute, and his trademark tenor saxophone.

Rahman is well-known in Britain for his two decades fronting the Soothsayers, and eclectic reggae/Afrobeat/jazz hybrid often remixed to suit the South London dance club scene. Along with trailblazing saxophonists Binker Golding, Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings Rahman is among the best of the UK's recent cohort of jazz artists. Brichard has appeared on two-dozen albums including those of the two Rahman trios. Drummer Tom Skinner is a journeyman having over seventy-five recording credits including albums with Ingrid Laubrock, Denys Baptiste, Martin Speake, Zero 7, Sons of Kemet, and Alexander Hawkins.

The album opens with "Under the Night Sky"; Rahman's tenor providing waves of deep, soulful saxophone on an uplifting and haunting tune. Brichard and Skinner stay in lockstep here but break out on the succeeding "Mirage" where additional reeds are layered on. Brichard brings an infectious bass line and Skinner dances sharply and lightly around the melody, making the piece intriguing listening. More percussive, and with some exotic eastern flavor, is "Fire," and like "Distant Thunder" there is languorous cultural air spiked with free-flowing expressions.

The two closing pieces on Season 2, "Light In The Sorrow" and "Where The Wild Things Dance" have a very different feel. Rahman switches to clarinet and flute giving the music a folkloric ambiance though the latter piece has a distinct quirkiness about it. Wildflower respects traditional post-bop concepts but their playing is free from the restraints of genre identity. Rahman, Brichard, and Skinner are extraordinary musicians and Season 2 is highly recommended.

Track Listing

Under The Night Sky; Mirage; Fire; Distant Thunder; Rush; Light In The Sorrow; Where The Wild Things Dance.

Personnel

Wildflower: band/orchestra; Idris Rahman: saxophone; Leon Brichard: bass; Tom Skinner: drums.

Album information

Title: Season 2 | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

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