Home » Jazz Articles » The Flowdown: yo-lk


Album Review

The Flowdown: yo-lk


Sign in to view read count
The Flowdown: yo-lk
It's not easy to categorize this brief eclectic offering via Infinity Gritty, but that's more than likely a primary point of the five-man collaboration's wide-ranging experimental soundscape.

While the EP contains only a minimal amount of actual jazz elements and may not excite traditionalists, it does feature some excellent instrumentation, with a finely tuned mix of assorted chord textures. What may sound a bit scattered at first listen belies the precision of various placements, and there's plenty to appreciate in such an unusual approach to musical themes.

"Ahz" is a mash up of rhythms as if George Clinton shook the aquabooty of a Station to Station (RCA, 1976) era David Bowie, with some blazing riffs by guitarist Gavi Grodsky and well-delivered verse by lyricist/keyboard man Adam Ahuja. A mid-song segment demonstrates the band's abundance of more mainstream-type ability when they choose a more formal approach, mridangam percussion and all.

"Cole," a snippet recorded during one of the band's in-person rehearsals, is actually more of an extended segue than a song. It rolls along as it switches tracks and flows into "Halftime," where Srikala Kerel Roach adds lyrics and vocals on an excellent, dreamy piece composed and recorded in separate locations while the team was stuck in isolation due to pandemic restrictions. Fragmented layers of subdued beats and effects form a nice romantic ballad that rambles gently with an engaging narrative structure.

The instrumental "Ice Cremation" is the EP's most conventional composition. Solo blues guitar drifts into heavier territory forming a tasty tab of early Vanilla Fudge-styled toppings, while drummer Pablo Eluchans and bassist Lavondo Thomas plow into the rhythm. Guitarist Grodsky lays it on thicker and thicker while Ahuja responds with elongated keyboard shadows that trickle into the piano keys for a fine finishing transition as the song simmers back down to basics.

Ultimately, the only real concern on this imaginative recording is a limited number of fully realized selections (three) and a relatively brief running time that totals around sixteen minutes. It would be interesting to hear what the group came up with over a more lengthy duration. That's not to say there isn't enough substance here, but considering this is the band's first new release since 2016, it's easily possible to imagine how much further this creative conglomerate could go.

Track Listing

Ahz; Cole; Halftime; Ice Cremation.


Adam Ahuja: keyboards; Pablo Eluchans: drums; Gavi Grodsky: guitar; Lavondo Thomas: bass; Srikala Kerel Roach: percussion.

Album information

Title: yo-lk | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Ropeadope

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Cookin’ with Jaws and the Queen: The Legendary...
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott
Warm Up
The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.