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Althea Rene – In The Flow

May 6, 2013


Chalk up another one for flautist Althea Rene. Her latest, In The Flow (due for release on May 28), is bound to position itself on the Althea Renecharts in a very respectable place. Full of happy grooves, sweet melodies, and infectious hooks, this project will knock ‘em out cold.

Having fallen in love with her groove since her In the Moment release, I came into this expecting just what I got: Energetic, full-bodied contemporary jazz from an electrifying artist who knows her way around a flute.

Joining Rene here are master producer for Trippin N Rhythm Records Michael Broening on keys (on select tracks) who also offers his writing skills throughout the album, Mel Brown on bass, Freddie Fox on guitar, Randy Scott handling the sax action, and one of my favorite trumpeters Cindy Bradley. Also contributing on select tracks are drummers John Herrera and Michael White, Dan Cipriano on sax, trumpet, and trombone, and Thano Sahnas on acoustic guitar.

This party starts from the lead track, “La’ Solstice” and never lets up.  Singling out just a couple of my faves, the title track is a high-steppin’ sizzler while the suave and confident  mid-tempo “H Town Step” saunters along, seducing along the way. This is absolutely perfect for a coastal drive, top down, and a soft breeze caressing your face while the melodious music teases your heart and soul. Also, I would be grossly negligent if I failed to mention the finale – the absolutely gorgeous and well-arranged “Song for Wilhemina.”

Others of serious note are the delicious, swaying “Sunday Cruise,”  “Used to Love You,” “Flutations,” her take on the classic “Free,” the cookin’ “FM 1960,” and so many more. Simply put, a killer album.

In The Flow may well be Rene’s best offering to date, although In The Moment is a strong competitor for that distinction. No matter. They all rock. Here is a woman who knows how to groove and how to make that groove a personal experience for all of us. Another A+ effort. – Ronald Jackson