The following is a review of FLOW’s live performance at Cargegie Hall from TheaterByte. Click here to read the review on TheaterByte’s website.
FLOW or Fiona Joy Hawkins (piano), Lawrence Blatt (guitar), Jeff Oster (trumpet, flugelhorn, sound effects), and Will Ackerman (guitar) has become one of the most highly regarded “New Age” quartets currently on the circuit. All of these artists have established major performing and recording careers: Fiona Joy in her native Australia and Lawrence, Jeff, and Will in the US. Grammy-winner Ackerman, the “senior” member of this foursome, opened the door for the commercial success of New Age compositions and performers with his founding of the music label Windham Hill Records in 1972. This new millennium “fab four,” frequently adds talented sidemen to their ensemble when they record and tour. For this concert, FLOW wisely chose Tom Eaton, a true musical factotum who contributed on bass and piano, Premik (Russell Tubbs) a legendary multi-instrumentalist, Vin Downes a brilliant young guitarist, and veteran percussionist Jeff Haynes.
The following is a review of FLOW from Music Street Journal on their concert at the Royal Room in Seattle. Click here to read the review on Music Street Journal’s website.
It was a rare warm May evening in Columbia City, near downtown Seattle, when my wife and I walked through the door at the Royal Room, to take in our first ever Flow show.
The room was full, like the moon that decorated a wall of the showplace. Over a hundred fans were in attendance, so the word had gotten out that this was a show not be missed – the recently minted band Flow (named after the band members: Fiona Joy Hawkins [Australia’s “Enya” on piano and voice], Jeff Oster [master of the flugelhorn and trumpet and truly a great Chuck Mangione–like master], Will Ackerman [one of new age’s seminal musical composers, producers and directors on guitar], and Lawrence Blatt on acoustic and electric guitar, and ukulele).
The following is a review of FLOW from Bentley’s Bandstand on The Morton Report. Click here to read the review on The Morton Report website.
Thirty years ago New Age was almost a cult music for those seeking the silence. Fairly or not, it was way off the map for those born into rock & roll. Flash forward, though, and there is much to love about a music that soothes rather than scorches. Both styles can be scintillating once the stereotypes are beaten into dust. Flow is a quartet comprised of Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, and Jeff Oster. They include guitars, keyboards, vocals, and brass. There is a supple groove that propels each song, provided by Ackerman and Blatt’s guitar and Oster’s trumpet and flugelhorn. Joy is a singer and pianist who absolutely lives up to her last name, and when she sings the skies open with her sound. Best of all are the quartet’s intricate originals, whether they’re in the foreground or the background. This is music that can be played anytime and anywhere, and always thrills. Ackerman, also known for founding Windham Hill Records, is someone to keep an ear on. He’s been breaking traditions his whole musical life, and shows no sign of stopping now. Of course, there are a half-dozen guests joining in, but in the end it’s Flow that delivers the spirit. Feel and heal.
The following is a review of FLOW from the July 2018 issue of Music Connection Magazine.
Forty years after Windham Hill became a catalyst for the global new age music phenomenon, its founder, acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman joins forces with genre stalwarts Fiona Joy (piano), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) and Lawrence Blatt (guitar) to create a fresh, seamless, rhythmically seductive and soulfully melodic vibe grounded in their deep personal chemistry. Each plays an equal part in the infectious sonic magic, but one standout is how Ackerman’s stark introspection complements Blatt’s more rhythmic approach to the acoustic guitar. Though an unusual anagram of their names, the FLOW concept is all about the way the music moves. – Jonathan Widran
The following is a review of FLOW from Jazz Weekly. Click here to read the review on the Jazz Weekly website.
Sounds from Windham Hill return from the 80s as legendary guitarist William Ackerman teams with Fiona Joy/p-voc, Lawrence Blatt/g-uk, Jeff Oster/tp-fh and a handful of guests to give a 21st Century interpretation of what used to be called “New Age” music.
The following is a review of FLOW from Music Existence. Click here to read the review on the Music Existence website.
New Age Supergroup FLOW’s debut album is out now and it will definitely blow you away. With it’s soft melodies and calming instrumentals, you’ll be whisked away to a world of inner peace and relaxation.
‘Whisper Me This’ is one of the best songs on the album. It’s very dreamy and will make you feel like you’re 1,000 feet up in the air floating on a fluffy cloud. It’s filled with beautiful notes that are perfect soundscapes. It made me want to go lay in some soft grass on a cool night and stargaze with a loved one.
The following is a review from independentartistbuzz.tumblr.com Click here to read the review on the independentartistbuzz.tumblr.com website.
New Age Supergroup FLOW has just dropped their self-titled debut album! FLOW is comprised of Fiona Joy, Jeff Oster, Lawrence Blatt, and Will Ackerman. The new tracks are filled with dreamy soundscapes that will transport you in seconds. This week we had the opportunity to ask them a few questions!
The following is a review from Samantha Garcia on zonemusicreporter.com Click here to read the review on the zonemusicreporter.com website.
FLOW: On Point, and On Tour!
It isn’t often that the New Age genre finds itself enjoying the emergence of a group such as FLOW, who recently announced their May 2018 Arrival Tour from New Orleans to Seattle, San Fran, and LA. The talented Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster have joined to give us an album of serene beauty. Each musician brings passion for their instruments and years of dedication to their craft into this album, manifesting a creative energy so strong that it resonates throughout every note. Nothing is wasted. Originally a project started by Lawrence Blatt, FLOW came together when he invited pianist Fiona Joy and composer Jeff Oster to collaborate with him at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont. It wasn’t long, however, until Will became far more than just a producer, and an integral contributor to the project.
The following is a review from axs.com Click here to read the review on the axs.com website.
“These are four musicians who are all self-sufficient in their talents. They’re brilliant at making albums that are unique and musically successful as soloists. The lovely surprise is that they, we, all managed with grace and ease to come together and create something new and different from anything any of us had ever done before,” Grammy-winner Will Ackerman explains.
Ackerman, along with Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, and Jeff Oster, make up the New Age music group called FLOW – hence the acronym. The group formed when Blatt, Joy and Oster met with Ackerman to record at his studio. Once united, together they formed FLOW; a collaborative effort founded in friendship born from nearly a decade of playing together.
On the heels of their debut album and the recent announcement of their two nominations for the 14th Annual Zone Music Awards (Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album), both Blatt and Ackerman, took time out to share some of their heartfelt journey with AXS.