Without doubt Ken Waxman is one of the reviewers of Jazzmusic I respect most. He is clever, he writes wel and his understanding of music comes along with a good pair of ears. It is a big honor to be featured again with a review at his Jazzwords publication.

Mark Lotz Trio

February 28, 2024

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out!
Zennez ZR 202319

Declaring that inspiration for this disc came from a re-reading of LSD-guru Timothy Leary’s eponymous volume, Netherlands-based German flutist Mark Lotz happily still avoids all the musical indulgences of the psychedelic era. Instead the acid flashback experienced by the flutist has led him to create 10 miniatures that swing with constant rhythm and are more Jazz-like than Lotz’s more experimental work. He doesn’t take the trip alone though. Although they never played together previously Canadian bassist Zack Lober and Dutch drummer Jamie Peet lock into the flutist’s ideas with unbeatable rhythmic pose that fits music the way tie-dyed tops complemented bell bottoms in the late 1960s.

Oddly enough, if there are musical comparisons to be made, the CD’s tracks are often a modernist take on breezy West Coats Jazz of the pre-Hippie era. Lotz’s skill on the transverse aerophone is such that he brings the proper expression to tunes whether it’s adding linear flutters to a narrative’s foot tapping intensity; using the bansuri to inject a touch of echoing exoticism to other tracks; or harmonizing the low tones of the bass flute with the measured strums from the bassist.

Without disrupting the session’s flow the drummer and bassist also get some space. Besides his continuous time keep with drum slaps and cymbal sizzles, Peet’s solo on “Lust” is a model of rattling rhythm which then reintroduces the double-timed head. Lober’s strums, stops and slides often echo in tandem with Lotz’s expositions, most prominently on “Bring Delight” where his near effortless groove perfectly balance the flute created flighty head.

Those looking for an creative music equivalent to the Grateful Dead’s endless jams, or excessive electrified shrieks from freaky guitarists and organists who were often more stoned than syncopated should avoid this session. Those seeking well-played and well-cadenced Jazz should seek it out.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Push 2. Beat The Drum 3. Dance The Monolith 4. Lust 5. Relax And Flow 6. Bring Delight 7. Consciousness 8. Isabel 9.Up! 10. Trance Out

Personnel: Mark Alban Lotz (concert, alto and bass flutes and bansuri); Zack Lober (bass) and Jamie Peet (drums)