The Finish Webzine Valon Kuvia published an review on our Freshta album.

Mark Lotz, a German flutist and composer living in the Netherlands, grew up not only in Germany but also in Thailand and Kenya and studied jazz, classical flute and the Indian bansuri flute. Therefore, it is not surprising that he is at home as an artist in a wide variety of environments, from solo flute, to dance, theater or joint projects with Cuban and African musicians.

Lotz’s latest album is also an impressive example of music that crosses borders. “Freshta” is dedicated to the memory of Freshta Kohistan, an Afghan woman who was murdered in 2020 and fought for women’s rights and democracy. All ten songs on the album were inspired and named after female activists who are or have been influential in different parts of the world. (The list of names can be found below, you should google them all and learn more.)

Despite its serious subject, “Freshta” sounds hopeful, which is influenced by the rare interesting composition of the skilled quintet playing on the album. Mark Lotz’s flutes and Claudio Puntini’s clarinets play beautifully together and create an airy sound in the front row of the band. Jörg Brinkmann keys his cello like a jazz bass and takes on the role of bassist. The cello’s lighter sound fits nicely with the band’s bright look. In places, the electronic effects, used in a subtle and elegant way, color and expand the band’s sound.

“Freshta” is a warm whole, marked by both the liberated swing of jazz and ethno-influenced reflections. The album’s opening title track and the immediately following “Malalai” offer a particularly captivating sample of the band’s supple, effortless swing. “Wangari” carried by an obstinately repeating rhythmic pattern and calm “Frouzan” quiet down to a serene meditation.

by Jukka Piiroinien