Rachel Flowers, not a name that evoked recognition here at the editorial board. A reader pointed us to the existence of this young lady and that quickly led to watching countless YouTube videos on which she performs symphonic classics. Flowers behind Keith Emerson’s modular Moog, Flowers on stage with Dweezil Zappa and Flowers playing at various Keith Emerson-tribute concerts. With that we have also immediately mentioned her musical mentor and that musical connection in itself justifies a place on this site.
“Listen” is the debut album of the multi-instrumentalist from California and contains only original compositions. Contrary to what previous references may suggest, Flowers is especially trained as a jazz musician, but on this album we find a wide range of musical styles. Sometimes we are presented with classical piano pieces (Memories Of You, Conversations), more often it refers more to the jazz fusion world of artists like Jeff Beck and Pat Metheny, such as Dawn Points, Run For Miles, and Aloha Part 2, all three highlights by the way. Goes To Eleven sounds like a mix of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and aforementioned jazz influences and opener Greg’s Favorite even contains a progrification in the name, it was the composition that appealed to Greg Lake the most.
Rachel Flowers has a thorough musical education and plays all instruments on the album herself, although it must be said that some instruments are sometimes sampled. In this respect, the dominant part is the keyboard parts, while in some songs there is also a lot of room for the flute. However, do not expect ‘over the top’ keyboard flings, where mentor Emerson sometimes prided himself on. Her playing is generally modest and it is mainly the total picture that impresses.
It is yet a mystery to me why “Listen” has generated relatively little attention. Partly because of the aforementioned YouTube clips and tribute concerts, Flowers has already generated some attention and the documentary that was made about her, “Hearing Is Believing“, has reportedly also had some degree of success. The waiting is therefore a real breakthrough, because the talent is clearly present, both in the compositions and in her performance!
Original review on http://www.progwereld.org. Translated from Dutch.