In the Age – flute-playing at least, shall we say – of Claire Chase it is heartening that we find ourselves in the presence of an equally alluring flutist such as Isabelle Bodenseh, whose character may be defined by her chromatic control, backed by [her] fervour and finesse. But such is a life full of surprises. To be introduced to Ms. Bodenseh’s music – via the disc, Flowing Mind – in the setting of an organ trio is to also celebrate the fact that soundscape of organ trio music may also be reborn with flourish. Certainly, before this recording one was left with a sinking feeling that the music of organ trios was becoming somewhat mannered – even wooden.
This is a [woodwind] instrument that ought to encourage inner flights for musicians eager to take up the prescient challenge: carpe diem. Certainly Ms. Chase – and now Ms. Bodenseh – seem eager to run the musical gauntlet. There is an unsullied purity about Ms. Bodenseh’s playing. In these works, many of which have been written by the flutist herself, we experience as much the uninhibited exuberance of her playing as we do an other-worldly trance – especially in the second version of the piece Flowing Mind [with strings]. Everywhere one is struck by the fact that tonal balance, throughout this memorable performance, is gloriously exact.
There is also passion and integrity in the works with a more outgoing rhythm, such as, for example, Molecular Cooking and [more so on] Mediterranean Bossa. It is also noteworthy that the flutist avoids the temptation to fall prey to over-heated ornamentation. Certainly, her flights, though Icarus-like and bound of the sun, eschew excessive perfume en route. Perhaps this is what keeps her solos from imploding before returning to their melodic line from whence they sprung.
Overall, one is struck by the transcendent fluidity, ease, and confidentiality of Ms. Bodenseh’s playing from the opening page of ConFluting to the dénouement of Flowing Mind [with strings]. The slow burning harmonics of the latter piece, one may odd, will make even the most sanguine listener’s heart beat dangerously fast for her instrumentalism is, here, so much like a sort of rapidly shifting celestial vapour. And that’s enough to fall prey to the lure of this wonderful disc.
Music – 1: ConFluting; 2: ASAP; 3: Flowing Mind; 4: Molecular Cooking; 5: Dog Rose; 6: Mediterranean Bossa; 7: Sans Moi; 8: Chilli Challi; 9: Flowing Mind [with strings]
Musicians – Isabelle Bodenseh: flutes; Thomas Bauser: Hammond organ; Lorenzo Petrocca: guitar; Lars Binder: drums; Hilde Singer-Biedermann: violin ; Ruth Sarrazin: cello 
Released – 2023
Label – GLM Music [EC 609-2]
Runtime – 49:54
“To be introduced to Ms. Bodenseh’s music – via the disc, Flowing Mind – in the setting of an organ trio is to also celebrate the fact that the soundscape of organ trio music may also be reborn with flourish. Certainly, before this recording one was left with a sinking feeling that the music of organ trios was becoming somewhat mannered – even wooden.”
I feel less alone now reading this observation. It occurred to me even while Joey DeFrancesco was alive and gigging that there must be some dynamic innovation out there in the world of organ trios, yet I hadn’t been directed to such a lively combo using much in the way of diverse harmonic settings over the past decade or so of radio jazz and jazz scribe explorations. Exploratory flute and tight string section suggests awakening and\or dreamy dynamic potential.
Bodenseh and Chase will be two strong leads into the eddies of possibilities from this recommendation. Thank you Raul and Jazz da Gama!
Thank you so much Raul for your review. I’m very impressed how deeply you understand my music, and my personality. Your words are really different and describe so beautifully my intention in this album. Really impressive!