Mark Alban Lotz has infused his album The Wroclaw Sessions with a collection of standards, classics and four originals (three of which he co-wrote) that explore a wide range of musical styles. Aided by bassist Grzegorz Piasecki and drummer Wojciech Buliński, Lotz easily makes transitions over a diverse musical terrain, which includes numbers such as Sam Rivers' "Euterpe" and Victor Young's "Song for Delilah" (from the soundtrack for the 1949 movie Samson and Delilah).
Lotz's gift lies in the substantial range of emotions and styles he brings to the flute; his tone, which can sound soft while sliding along rapid flurries of notes, can just as equally fill a room. There is a sweet yearning in "Franz." Contrast that with his warmth in Miriam Makeba's playful and funky Afro-pop dance song "Pata Pata," or the head-bopping energy he brings to the Charlie Parker tune "Segment."
Perhaps the most interesting tune of all is the song Lotz co-wrote with H.P. Chaurasia, "Raaste Men." The composition retains the exotic punch of some of the other numbers but has a very cool feel to it. Some Elvin Jones can be heard in Buliński's trap set work, while Piasecki keeps a fairly consistent beat under Lotz's improvisations. Towards the end of the piece, Piasecki enters with a solo that highlights his considerable technique.
The Wroclaw Sessions demonstrates a confident flute trio at its finest. Listenable and accessible, yet uncompromising, this album succeeds.
Euterpe; Franz; Raaste Men; Lullaby for Tymon;
Pata Pata; Segment; Song Of Delilah; Slap, Kick & Stop; Little Shiva.
Mark Alban Lotz: flutes, fx; Grzegorz Piasecki: acoustic bass; Wojciech Buliński: drums.