Aug 17 2017
Gorgeous when viewed as a whole as well as when focusing on the details, this quartet session from drummer Julian Erdem offers up all kinds of tranquility in all kinds of different ways. “Die Wanderung” walks a now common path, where the melody is front and center, the tempo works to draw out its beauty ever so slowly, and the everlasting influence of the Esbjorn Svensson Trio on the modern scene continues to reverberate. It’s spots like this where pianist Can Olgun‘s delicate precision when crafting a melody shines strongest. The interactions bassist Thomas Morgan takes with piano and drums creates a nifty punctuated stagger on “Endstation,” and adds some kick to an album that typically would prefer to drift. One of the particularly fascinating qualities of Little Flower are those moments, like on “Flower II,” when guitarist Keisuke Matsuno transforms melodic lines into wavering squiggles, and impersonates the sound of electronic effects. That said, when he adds a little twang on “Oasis,” the music is just as personable, changed though it may be.
There are two oddball tracks; One works far better than the other. The album finale “Free #2” counteracts the album’s prevailing adherence to structure with a fully improvised piece, but its moody demeanor falls right in line with everything that preceded it. On the other hand, sitting dead center of the album is “Deep Water Current,” and the way it shouts and shrieks is really out of place on an album that is devoted to contemplative tones, tranquil ambiance and enchanting melodies. But that’s a small weakness, and greatly outweighed by the album’s massively captivating beauty.
Your album personnel: Julian Erdem (drums), Can Olgun (piano), Keisuke Matsuno (guitar) and Thomas Morgan (bass).
Released on Unit Records.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Berlin, Germany.