Michel Edelin Flute Fever Orchestra feat. Nicole Mitchell: Kalamania
Top flute players in a free-swinging showdown
I got a fever and the prescription is more flute! French flautist Michel Edelin has assembled some of the instrument's leading practitioners for Kalamania, not least the peerless Nicole Mitchell. As the four flautists dance on thermals, the rhythm section of bassist Peter Giron and drummer John Betsch keep things grounded with a great free swinging feel. There's nothing twee or hippy-ish about the flute playing here: Edelin, Mitchell, Sylvaine Hélary and Ludivine Issambourg tease myriad tones and textures from their axes, contrasting shrill piccolo figures with breathy bass flute, and cheeky harmonised riffs with spittle-flecked abstractions.
All the pieces are by Edelin, with the exception of 'Joyful Struggle', a Mitchell composition that adds folk flourishes to modernist structures. 'Obsession' breaks into a sweet gospel refrain, the musicians singing over handclaps and solo flute, while 'Flying Drum' détournes a parade ground march with sputtering vocal improv and demented flute runs.
Out now on Rogue Art.