SONOMU.NET : Fields of Flowers

Would Jon Hassell be flattered by the homage or sue for plagiary? Hardly the latter, I think, considering his wide-open mind on sampling and influence. Fields of Flowers is a brief, luminous set self-described as ”ambient jazz” flavoured with a dash of world music by a sensitive group of players led by Michel Banabila, a mercurial figure in Dutch electronic music, flitting with ease from genre to genre. It is gallant proof that he has utterly mastered this one, creating subtle, shifting electronic fields in which his soloists and lead instrumentalists bloom – saxophonist/clarinetist Mete Erker lyrically on ”Tirza Scene”, trumpeter Eric Vloeimans on ”Early Morning Light” and both together on ”Trial & Error” and ”Geese Flight”. It is the three middle tracks which so snugly fit the Hassellian, fourth-world template, which is not to diminish them in the least. In fact, the introspective ”Trial & Error”, harnessed ritual momentum of ”Geese Flight” and impressionist landscape of ”Early Morning Light” are rare treats flawlessly executed. Joshua Samson, who makes two appearances, is a confident and very musical percussionist. Also a rare treat, the piano coda ””Lapidarium”, played by Jasper Soffers.

Stephen Fruitman.