Pianist Maria Chiara Argirò and guitarist Jamie Leeming debut album ‘Flow’, combines elements of modern jazz, electronica and contemporary folk music to create an expansive and cinematic sound, they explore a broad range of textures and emotions, ranging from dynamic sections brim full of movement, pace and excitement, to moments that are more reflective and vulnerable.
Opening track titled simply as ‘Opening’ is a soft piano led that has moments of harsh notes that breaks the initial tranquil feeling. A tranquil feeling that is rescued by next track Kōsetsu where we get to hear both Leeming and Argirò together. Flow carries on but brings a sense of unease in the jumpy nature of the piano.
A James Blake cover, ‘Retrograde’ takes the album into an electronica with synthetic beat underneath sparse piano and whisper quiet guitar chords. The track feels like a meditation in music.
‘Fables intro’ and the proceeding track ‘Fables’ feel wistful and romantic with ‘Intro’ bringing together strings and piano to create images where as Fables has a jazzier edge. Leeming shines as the guitar is pushed to the front and lay down an intriguing run of notes
Rubik’s is harsher in its language, with the piano stabbing the notes out. We get to hear two different solo’s from the duo with Leeming having quite a forceful way with the melody which is soothed by Argirò’s gentle wandering of the piano keys.
Punchy free style track ‘Interlude’ comes as a distraction and can’t help but put a smile on your face. ‘Interlude’ also leads very well into next track ‘Tune No 1’ which opens with deep tones via Leeming sounding reminiscent with lush short repeated phrases. My only regret is the jam the duo get into turns the end finishes too quickly.
Boo’s Lullaby does exactly what it says and is a wonderfully arranged piece of acoustic guitar and piano that softly intertwine closing the album in what seems a very natural and gentle way. The way the piano keys sit so softly on the swaying picked guitar is simply beautiful.
The duo mange to use their small collection of instruments yet create an album thats varied in structure and melodic composition. The two musicians compliment each other and the quite literally flow through and around each other. The album manages to be both dreamy and featuring moments of pure beauty but theres also tracks that bring harsher moments, almost atonal in places. All in all its an album that you can lose yourself in. To enjoy the musical talent that these two have in creating images and feelings with their music.
Have a listen to the track Kōsetsu, below:
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