The following is a review of “Promise” from Jakob Baekgaard of All About Jazz. Click here to read the review on the All About Jazz website.
Promise marks the welcome return of FLOW that released its acclaimed self-titled debut in 2017. Behind the name lies the talents of trumpeter Jeff Oster, singer and pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins and guitarists Will Ackerman and Lawrence Blatt. On their second album, they continue to refine the signature sound they introduced on the debut.
The title track is a supreme example of how the group works with dynamics in the music, adding and subtracting instrumental layers while increasing or slowing down the tempo from the tactile touch of a single instrument to the lush palette of musical colors. Whether finding beauty in the stroke of a single chord or the motivic development of lines, FLOW create complex lyrical stories that are also remarkably intuitive. It’s this paradox that makes the music so compelling combined with the fact that the group don’t settle into fixed patterns.