Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Modes of Expression
nadav haber | jerusalem Israel | 05/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All you have to do is look at the CD cover photo to know that Frank Lowe is a serious person. This is clearly a man who is not about superficiality and commercialism.
What I hear in Lowe's harsh/gentle saxophone playing is a constant search for the possibilities of expression - from the harshest coarse growls to soft, quiet tones. He uses these extreme modes of expression in a way I have not heard before - a soft descending phrase followed by a coarse scream which is followed by other sounds, each different and fresh. In this he is different than musicians such as Coltrane, Ayler, or Charles Gayle - who tend to build their sound gradually, achieving the maximum effect before changing direction.
The other musicians add their fair share of creative moments to the CD - Joseph Bowie makes the trombone sound a million ways, and Alex Blake plays everything from abstract to finger slapped funk. Leo Smith is always interesting and Charles Bobo Shaw plays what to me is perfect and ego-less support for the group.
After about 3-4 times I listened to the CD - it became one of my favorites. This is "no frills" music, honest and daring. I believe it is a music that is built on the foundations layed out by Thelonious Monk - the rhythmic diversity, the sudden cuts - although it may not have been what the musicians had in mind. The influence of the AACM movement is evident too.
But it is mostly Frank Lowe, who, based on the music here, deserves to be mentioned as a member of the top crop of creative jazzmen who have entered the scene in the 60's - Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton etc...
Like any other great creative jazz - this music asks you to make the initial effort - you must come to it in order to enjoy its benefits. It does not make any concessions or compromises just to please anyone. Therefore I recommend the music to anyone who is willing to make the initial effort."
Wham, Bam, Thank You "Flam"
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Lowe's "The Flam" is one of the best avant-garde/modern jazz albums of the 1970s. For this 1975 session, a fiery, three-horn frontline of Lowe on tenor sax, Joseph Bowie (yup, Lester's brother) on trombone, and Leo Smith on trumpet (and flugelhorn and woodflute on two tracks) join the pianoless rhythm duo of Alex Blake on bass and Charles Bobo Shaw on drums. All members of this group contributed creative, original tunes for this recording -- Bowie wrote the raucous "Sun Voyage," Lowe penned the title track, Shaw the wild, free "Be-Bo-Bo-Be," Smith the brief concluding "U.B.P.," and the whole quintet is credited with the romping "Third Street Stomp." Lowe's full, abrasive tone and music are not for everyone, but fans of Dave Holland's "Conference for the Birds," Sam Rivers' 70s Impulse albums or even the more out there David Murray sessions will be right at home with "The Flam." With his fine ESP disc "Black Beeings" now out of print, and his other titles on Black Saint/Soul Note generally hard to find, interested parties should act quickly."