The band Black Flower is at the peak of its creative power. In the last nine years, the Belgian band has released five albums, with each album still being more complex than the one before. Her latest work, "Magma", which was released last year, lives up to its title: It's bubbling under the surface, and what rises from it is as hot as the molten rock beneath the surface of the earth. This is not least thanks to a new band member.
The rhythm group, consisting of drummer Simon Segers and bassist Filip Vandebril, has always formed the solid foundation for the complex sounds. Nathan Daems on saxophone, flute and other wind instruments and Jon Birdsong on cornet complement each other perfectly in the melodic passages. New to the band is Karel Cuelenaere, who supports both aspects of the band on the organ. Sometimes he contributes to the rhythmic and harmonic structure, then he brings an additional voice into the musical interplay.
His influence is audible from the start, his keys lending a swirling and mischievous note to the opener and title track with hints of Arabic tones that continue into the further instruments. The quintet plays jazz that, while inspired by ancient influences, nonetheless casts a broad glimpse into a universal and global future. Afrobeats, dub and oriental harmonies, slowly building psychedelic soundscapes and minimalist developments offer rich indulgence when they surface. Black Flower is one of those young jazz musicians who keep their ears wide open and breathe new life into the music with a variety of styles. In January the Belgians will perform in Berlin.