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MND FLO: From Time (self-released)

Review of debut album by forward-thinking quartet

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Cover of Mnd Flo album From Time
Cover of Mnd Flo album From Time

Exploring analog synths and a modern production approach, Mnd Flo create one of the greatest amalgams of jazz ability, winning compositions, and stylistic coherence heard in ages. A globally based quartet, they consistently produce compelling, tuneful, forward-thinking jazz. Not often do jazz musicians collaborate in a manner that constitutes a literal group—a term that’s more frequently reserved for rock bands sweating it out in garages—but Mnd Flo unfailingly play as one. Whether using acoustic piano or electronic keyboards, acoustic or electric bass, or treated drums that recall electronic beats, they draw in the listener with emotion, wit, and dazzling improvisations.

The second coming of the Headhunters or Weather Report? Perhaps. Simon Moullier, vibraphone, synthesizer; Sharik Hasan, piano; Alexander L.J. Tóth, basses, keyboards, sound design; and Anthony A. Tóth, drums, are all exceptional musicians, each contributing to the silky Mnd Flo mindset. Recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studios in Boston, From Time consists of eight tracks but plays out as a grand suite, thoughtfully conceived and seamlessly performed by an inspired quartet.

The pieces within that suite range from acoustic piano-driven vamps to balladic journeys to jazz-funk blowouts, each delivered within a subtle, cocoon-like sheen. Mnd Flo play like they formed their bonds in the womb. From the skipping, dreamlike opener “Odyssey” and the dynamically subtle “Jack O’Lantern” to the moving “SMDAMA,” the textured Afro-Cuban rhythms of “EMS,” and the hypnotic earth-orbiter “Planet Hunter,” Mnd Flo deliver a fantastic, mind-bending debut.

Originally Published