Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster

Cover Flow Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster

Will Ackerman has never exactly gone with the flow during his lengthy career in contemporary instrumental and New Age music. But now he’s going with FLOW, a new all-star group whose self-titled debut album creates a beautiful flow. FLOW has emerged from Vermont’s Imaginary Road Studios, the longtime creative home base of this maverick businessman and Grammy-winning producer. From this hotbed of contemporary music, Ackerman has produced more than 25 gold and platinum records. Musicians from all over the world come to carry on the legacy of Windham Hill Records, the iconic New Age label Ackerman created that defined a powerful yet peaceful sonic aesthetic that remains influential decades after its launch. FLOW already celebrated the release with a performance at Carnegie Hall.

FLOW, born out of longtime friendships and a history of playing together, is not only an acronym of their names but also reflects the foursome’s seamless organic vibe and the graceful ease with which each of the album’s tracks streams into the next.

The album is filled with silky smooth instrumental music in a steady, continuous stream of tonal colors and depth. Throughout the 11 tracks, you’ll hear an organic metamorphosis where instruments replace each other and gather in intricate mood mosaics. Slow passages evolve into percussive patterns alongside dazzling, complementary artistry.

Each artist has a distinctive sound, and it is easy to spot who is doing what on each track, but I found it fascinating that all four are given composer credits for the entire album. FLOW’s magic is the finest yet to emerge from Ackerman’s ongoing Imaginary Road excellence. Let this FLOW accompany you throughout the holidays and into the New Year. FlowTheGroup.com


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