Track/Video: Peace Flag Ensemble preview their exhilirating new album ‘Astral Plains’ with the deep beauty of ‘You Can’t Pin Joy Like A Moth’.

Now here’s a follow up that has been much anticipated. The experimental jazz collective Peace Flag Ensemble have announced the arrival of their sophomore album ‘Astral Plains’ via We Are Busy Bodies on 14th July. This fluid group of Saskatchewan musicians, first convened by ambient sound artist Michael Scott Dawson and pianist Jon Neher, take the less frantic approach to improvisation, creating soundscapes that leave room to breathe, think and listen. As producer Dawson said of Noteland, their inspirational 2019 debut, ‘everyone leaned into their own intuition and inspiration’ and the results of the group’s unhurried approach were stunning. Bass and piano anchorage, melodic channels of trumpet and sax, plus a bristling frost of electronic edginess, here was music that made time and often suspended it.

Drawing valid comparisons with Keith Jarrett sensibilities and Talk Talk dynamics Peace Flag Ensemble had made their claim from the outset and now ‘Astral Plains’ looks set to extend those sonic horizons. For this latest recording the collective core remains, Dawson and Neher, Travis Packer on bass plus Paul Gutheil and Dalton Lam providing the trumpet/sax interweave but the collaborative possibilities have been opened up further. Joining the ensemble for this record Michael Thievin adds percussive delicacy while guests saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi and instrumentalist Nick Walters bring their own supportive detailing.

Shiroishi can be heard on ‘You Can’t Pin Joy Like A Moth’ the sumptuous preview track chosen to welcome the forthcoming album, his elegant tenor out front when needed, to bring those sighing breath and aching heart moments. It’s a piece that dawns, unfolding from a simple, tumbling piano and bass phrase to a glorious closing reveal, where the percussive shunt brings a hint of urgency and Dawson’s intricate ambient layers multiply. Emotionally spiritual but reassuringly earthbound this is landscape music shaped from the same vistas as Nordic jazz.

The full wonders of ‘Astral Plains’ lay ahead, awaiting discovery – make sure to join the expedition.

Pre-order your copy of ‘Astral Plains’ by Peace Flag Ensemble from your local record shop or direct from We Are Busy Bodies HERE

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