Rubai / Flook
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Flatfish,UK / World Village, US

Each new Flook release expands this dynamic group's sound. Originally a group that focused on the interplay of flutes and wind instruments with an underpinning of rhythm guitar, Flook has evolved so that one can only sit and wonder how the musicians are able to maintain their frenetic pace.

The CD begins with enormous promise, the jazzy arrangement of the "Pod" set's first tune "Baldy Hollow" giving way to the sumptuous acoustic funk of "The Empty Pod." Swiftly, the listener recognizes that Flook are incorporating even more world music and rock influences than in the past. The requisite English and Irish roots are present, but there are nods to Swedish and Greek tunes as well. Throughout Rubai, Ed Boyd proves himself to truly be a remarkable rhythm guitar player, and the flute playing of both Sarah Allen and Brian Finnegan is the essence of complementary musicianship.

The moods on Rubai shift quickly, as Flook delight in turning a tune around on its head and barreling off in unexpected directions. For instance, the "G.D.'s - Hooper's Loop" set is intense; ghostly echoes initially frame the composition, and these continue throughout the back of the hectic swirl of sound Flook builds. The inclusion of guest Rory McLeod's trombone playing on the "Granny Set" and "Natterjack" make those tracks simply intoxicating. A welcome addition to the Flook repertoire is Ale Möller's "Glass," a slow Swedish tune that Flook handle with the delicacy of a snowfall.

Rubai is a dense, overwhelmingly fun release that keeps the listener on her toes. Is it only a matter of time before Flook begin to add vocals to their acoustic mastery? - Lee Blackstone

(p)(c) 2002 Flook / Flatfish Music

CD available from cdRoots

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