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.
The following is a review from Skopemag.com Click here to read the review on the skopmage.com website.
Flow embraces a colorful, soothing sound on the ambient bliss of their self-titled effort. Done with the utmost of taste, Flow draws from jazz, folk, incorporating slight hints of dance all nicely anchored by lush waves of sound that simply wash over it all. Melodically rich the way the many elements intermingle results in a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic aura one that feels positively inviting. Bright and airy the way the songs evolve results a true talent for form, for the spaciousness of the tracks further emphasizes the emphasis on the infinite, the pastoral beauty of nature. Songs perfectly flow, one into the other making the track lengths irrelevant as they all work together merging into a seamless whole.
The following is a review from Bill Binkelman, of ZoneMusicReporter.com. Click here to read the review on the ZoneMusicReporter.com website.
FLOW – FLOW
Having cut my rock musical teeth, so to speak, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, I listened to my fair share of supergroup recordings: Cream (and later Blind Faith), Emerson, Lake and Palmer, King Crimson, West, Bruce and Laing, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Bad Company, and others. As a result, I know that the path of the supergroup is fraught with several challenges, such as clashing egos, clashing artistic visions, and “one and done” fixation (a la Blind Faith, for example). I had no such fear when I heard that pianist Fiona Joy, guitarists Lawrence Blatt and Will Ackerman, and flugelhorn maestro Jeff Oster were forming FLOW (Fiona, Lawrence, Oster, and Will). Having met these folks in person, I was confident that their relationship in the studio would be symbiotic and yield some delicious musical treats for the listeners. I was curious what they would “sound” like, not so much because their individual styles are vastly different, but more “what would they come up?”
The following is a review from R J Lannan, of ZoneMusicReporter.com. Click here to read the review on the ZoneMusicReporter.com website.
Two guitarist, a pianist, and a horn player walk into a studio. Now if that sounds like the beginning of a good story, it is, but the punchline is something quite exceptional. The eponymous album is FLOW. The group of four consists of Australia’s darling daughter, pianist Fiona Joy. One of the guitarists is the skillfully able Lawrence Blatt. The third is the most sought after accompanists of contemporary music, flugelhorn artist Jeff Oster. The fourth is a legendary guitarist, the one talent that has become an icon for the genre, Will Ackerman.
The music is about four friends that have known and supported each other and, more importantly, each other’s work for years. Finally one of them said, “Let’s do this” and they did. The results are extraordinary.
The following is a review from Mike Ragogna, of the Huffington Post. Click here to read the review on the Huffington Post website.
“FLOW” EXCLUSIVE FROM WILL ACKERMAN’S QUARTET FLOW
Flow is the brand new quartet featuring Grammy® Award winner, guitarist and Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman. In addition to Ackerman, the group includes world-class instrumentalists: acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt, Australian pianist/vocalist Fiona Joy, and flugelhorn virtuoso Jeff Oster.
The following article is from the January 2018 issue of Acoustic Guitar by Blair Jackson. Click here to read the article on AcousticGuitar.com.
During a recording career that spans more than 40 years, acoustic guitarist Will Ackerman has enjoyed tremendous success. As founder of—and the original artist on—the highly influential Windham Hill label (Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Shadowfax, George Winston, et al), he has played on and produced Gold, Platinum, and Grammy-winning albums. As owner and creative head of Imaginary Roads Studio in rural Vermont, he has produced literally hundreds of albums—more than 80 in the past decade alone—many in the sort of modern acoustic chamber-music style that Windham Hill pioneered in its glory days (Ackerman sold his interest in the company 25 years ago). But through all those years Ackerman had never really played in a group. That has now changed with a group and album called FLOW—the name is an acronym from the names of the members: pianist/vocalist Fiona Joy, guitarist Lawrence Blatt, flugelhorn master Jeff Oster, and Ackerman.
Flow is a supergroup of musicians who have been involved with New Age music for many years. The term New Age is used to describe a wide range of genres, from easy listening acoustic music to electronic meditation music. In this case, Flow performs peaceful and ethereal instrumental music with smooth jazz, folk, gliding ambient sounds and classical music elements.
The four musicians that form the Flow ensemble include guitarist and producer Will Ackerman, pianist Fiona Joy, guitarist Lawrence Blatt and trumpeter Jeff Oster. The group recorded the album in Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont.
The following is a review from BT Fasmer, of NewAgeMusic.Guide. Click here to read the review on the NewAgeMusic.Guide website.
Every genre needs a supergroup. With FLOW we finally have such a group in New Age music! I’m happy to report that their self-titled debut album is worthy of the «super» tag too. «FLOW» is a reminder of what made New Age music into an international phenomenon in the late 1980s, while at the same time showing why this genre is still relevant today.
The following is a review from Jakob Baekgaard, of All About Jazz. Click here to read the review on the All About Jazz website.
FLOW is a New Age-super group consisting of pianist Fiona Joy (the f), guitarist Lawrence Blatt (the l), trumpeter Jeff Oster (the o) and guitarist and founder of the legendary label, Windham Hill, William Ackerman (the W).
Their self-titled debut creates a beautiful flow in the music that lives up to their name. As in the records on ECM, the pause plays a significant role. The music is allowed to breathe and silence becomes a companion to the pieces.
The term New Age is somewhat problematic, but, for good or worse, this is the label often associated with these musicians. However, while the music certainly has a meditative quality, it is first and foremost emotional and melodic music. The simple drawing on the cover reflects an intuitive approach to the music. It feels timeless and proved, and yet has the intensity and wonder of an instrument being touched for the first time. Oster plays long, ethereal lines. His sound is round, warm and airy and seems to grow out of the distance like a mist in an endless landscape. Fiona Joy adds wordless vocals and her piano chords emerge out of necessity. She both carries the music and sets it free.