Louis Belogenis is one of the unsung heroes of free jazz tenor saxophone, influenced by John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Albert Ayler, easily able to stand alongside peers like David Murray, David S. Ware, and Charles Gayle. He's more restrained while remaining melodic, only occasionally using overblown harmonics, therefore a more accessible performer, which does not mean that he refuses to cut loose, blowing hard and strong. A sense of balance, simple forward motion, and stream of consciousness make Belogenis an attractive player without a hint of conservatism. This is the second recording for this edition of the Flow Trio, including Joe Morris, not on his familiar jagged-edged electric guitar but the upright acoustic bass, and he is more than capable of taking care of rhythmic or bottom end duties. Drummer Charles Downs, a true legend of American improvised music, has been known as Rashid Bakr in past decades, but has now and again re-chosen his birth name. An expert listener, he is a mercurial percussionist, seemingly at ease and rolling with whatever meters and loose associations he spontaneously chooses in relation to his bandmates. The CD starts with a sax solo, "Reflection," with long tones and the slight harmonic overtones that specifically refer to his influences. Morris strums his bass as if it is his guitar on "Slow Cab," merging into a dirge-like, reverent, insular, controlled vibe. The ten-minute "Pick Up Sticks" obviously features a drum solo, placed at the end after a free workout that is more energetic, with sustained power, outcries, and saxophone shouts from Belogenis. The walking bass of Morris leads to a hard swing and African beats from Downs in the dual purpose and perfectly titled "Two Acts" with an emphasis on tom-toms, "Succor" is a prayer, epitaph, or both, "Unfolding" is the most easily listenable and tuneful piece à la Coltrane, and the title track reflects the mood of "'Round About Midnight" in pace and phraseology, more excitable and animated near the end. As Belogenis is fairly consistent, Downs uses deft brushes on snare drum and cymbals, jazz swing, lofty and loose sounds that buoy the band like ocean roiling waves, while Morris is a delight on an instrument he is not as well know for, but might be in the near future. This is geared to specific tastes for those creative improvised music fans, but can be enjoyed by post-bop mavens with open ears as well. Belogenis and the Flow Trio have something new to offer within the parameters of the original sounds of the so-called new wave of Impulse Records jazz.
- Release Date:
- Esp Disk Ltd.
Performance CreditsFlow Trio Primary Artist
Louis Belogenis Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Joe Morris Upright Bass
Joe Morris Orchestra Bass,Group Member
Charles Downs Drums,Group Member
Charles Down Drums
Technical CreditsLouis Belogenis Composer
Steven Walcott Engineer
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