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Flow / David Braid, Epoque String Quartet

Release Date: 05/27/2016
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30061
Composer:  David Braid Performer:  David Braid Orchestra/Ensemble:  Époque String Quartet

Jazz pianist and composer David Braid presents his latest project, Flow, an album of compositions for piano and string quartet. Although the Canadian composer is greatly respectful of the Western Art Music Tradition, he draws much inspiration from Eastern philosophical ideas. Braid believes the Chinese concept of qi (energy flow) and the Greek concept of pneuma (spirit or soul) are expressions of the same foundation of ‘true inspiration.’ The Epoque String Quartet performs the five works featured on this album. Founded in 1999, the Prague-based ensemble masterfully fuses jazz, rock, and funk music with classical and contemporary traditions.

Album Credits:  
Recorded November 22 & 25, 2015 at Czech
Read more TV Studio, Kavci Hory, Prague, Czech Republic
Engineers: Milan Jilek and Jan Cenek
Assistant Engineer: Roman Sklenar
Mixed and Mastering: Dixon Van Winkle and David Braid

Album artwork adapted from "Qi" (2014), oil on canvas by Sophia Gao
Album Design: Marc LaFoy
Piano: Steinway Model D #598852
Piano Technician: Marcel Pindel

"Flow harnesses aspects of Western classical, folk, and ancient forms on 12 epic tracks...Overall, Flow is an exceptional work that David Braid has created with patience, love and understanding of the human condition, film form and structure. Along with his tone, touch and chord voicings his brilliant imagination makes this recording worth several listens".

-- [6/20/2016]

The Canadian jazz pianist David Braid composed the music on Flow, wherein he is accompanied by the Czech Republic's Epoque String Quartet. Braid has collaborated with classical musicians in the past. Here the booklet delves into such rarefied concepts as "cultural consumption, absorption, and music rebirth in which qi [the source of the album's title] and pneuma are essential," and "filmic templates." The latter aspect is balanced against such rigorous technical devices as a 42 1/2-beat theme in the Joya Variations (tracks one and two). There is, in short, a lot going on here, but again there's a balance: the music is quite accessible on the surface, with varied contemporary jazz idioms held together by the string quartet, and a friendly harmonic palette. Sample any section of the seven-movement Chauvet, which does seem to evoke a sequence of disconnected cinematic scenes. Steinway's engineering team is working here in what must have been the unfamiliar surroundings of a Czech television studio, but they deliver the clarity and intimacy for which this American label has become known. Recommended for those interested in new directions in classical-jazz fusion.

-- AllMusic Guide

"Braid is one of those contemporary musicians readily described as a 'crossover artist' with respect to classical music. His pieces are as strongly imbued with jazz sensibilities as with anything traditionally classical. Braid’s attitudinal approach blends rather well with that of the Epoque String Quartet, an ensemble that avowedly intends to mix the beauty of classical strings with jazz performance approaches as well as those of funk and rock."

-- InfoDad [7/14/2016]
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