Album Remarks & Appraisals:
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.
Acclaimed Canadian Jazz pianist and composer David Braid's latest creation is an album of music for piano and string quartet. Profoundly respectful of the Western Art Music Tradition, it is also influenced in part by philosophical ideas such as the Chinese concept of qi (?) (energy flow) and the Ancient Greek concept of pneuma (p?e?ľa) ('breath' in the context of 'spirit' or 'soul'), which for Braid are manifestations of the same source of 'true inspiration'.
Liner Note Author: Lee Tsang.
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 1 and 2). 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. ~ James Manheim