Flowtilla | Clariphonic

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United States - California - SF

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Jazz: Acid Jazz Jazz: Jazz-Funk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Flowtilla

Quirky jazz-funk and psychedelic rock instrumentals with some Latin and African influences as well.
Genre: Jazz: Acid Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Walnut Festival
4:33 $0.99
2. The Abyss
5:29 $0.99
3. Precipice
6:00 $0.99
4. Stringbean
4:19 $0.99
5. Vascular
4:50 $0.99
6. Here We Go
5:32 $0.99
7. Punjabi
5:45 $0.99
8. Up For Air
4:26 $0.99
9. Decompression
5:14 $0.99
10. Floating Island
4:44 $0.99
11. Flowtility
6:29 $0.99
12. Oceanic
4:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Flowtilla is the new name for The Len Paterson Trio ,an eclectic band that plays an original blend of funky, world-groove jazz inspired music. They deliver a compelling instrumental sound that is soulful and unique, striking a fine balance between memorable composition and free-flowing improvisation.
Len Paterson was voted one of the 10 best guitarists of 2001 on JamBase.com by Ted Kartzman. The trio includes Ellen Schoenwetter on bass and Jan Jackson on drums and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band recently performed on two different stages at the High Sierra Music Festival (which featured Medeski, Martin, and Wood as well as Bruce Hornsby as headliners) and added Will Bernard as special guest guitarist on their second set.
The group benefits from the varied background of each member. Len and Ellen have performed with multi-instrumentalist Ralph Carney(of Tom Waits), and were founding members of Pluto. Len is a frequent sub and guest in the popular Miles Davis tribute band, Bitches Brew and has played with Jackie Ivory (of Junior Walker Allstars), Malcolm Mooney(of Can), Henry Kaiser, Will Bernard, Beth Custer, Splatter Trio. He has also composed music for film and can be heard in collaboration with David Slusser on John Zorn's Tzadik label.
Ellen was a member of rock band Assasins of God, which toured Europe often and put out several c.d.s. She also played jazz for 2 years with local bebop legend Bishop Norman Williams. Jan rounds out the group with his refined sense of the groove. He currently works with Will Bernard's Motherbug and local clarinet virtuoso Beth Custer. He has even backed up Chuck Berry.
The Len Paterson Trio's first c.d. , "Sunny Cloudy" was voted one of the top 10 records of 2001 on JamBase by Ted Kartzman.



to write a review

Peter Haas

Very catchy and funky jazz featuring some inventive guitar and bass interplay.
Flowtilla is a jazz-funk-fusion trio led by guitarist Len Paterson, With Ellen Schoenwetter on bass and Jan Jackson on drums.
(In live appearances, other drummers often play instead.)

If you like jazz/funk/fusion and great guitar playing you are going to love
Flowtilla. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play many times, and they’re one of those rare primarily local bands whose CD you just *have* to buy. It’s difficult to summarize their sound, because they flow (get it?) so readily from mood to mood. But if I had to, I’d emphasize the facts that they are (a) usually on the funky side (and I mean this more in the old-school sense than whatever is being called funky these days) and (b) really effective at creating a good flowing (see?) groove that grabs your sonic imagination and takes it for a ride.

Guitarist Len Paterson is both a unique voice on his instrument and a guy that can sound like any number of well-known jazz guitarists – without trying imitate any. Some have pointed to a Wes Montgomery influence, and I guess I can sense that in his melodic tone, but I also hear overtones of artists like John Scofield, Joe Beck, and others in that oeuvre. His solos are always interesting and he never plays just show how many notes he can stuff into a minute. He’s not afraid to mess around with treatments, although they are always tasteful. Bassist Schoenwetter is also special. She’s rather petite in person, her bass seeming almost as tall as she is, but she can really pound out an inventive and often funky bass line as well as a thoughtful solo. (She has the vintage Stanley Clarke string-poppin’ technique down cold!). Together the two have a remarkable chemisty and they can improvise simultaneously in a most engaging way. I’m not as familiar with drummer Jackson, but on record he is a very effective complement to the Flowtilla sound.

Finally, Flowtilla is great because Len (and the band, also credited) is a really talented jazz composer. His songs are memorable and even hooky. If you hear them once, you’re going to remember them the next time. In fact, I’d go so far to say that Flowtilla’s original compositions hold their own with much of the best of contemporary jazz. But they also have a knack for reworking pop songs into their own image…live, they will take songs like “Day Tripper”, or “Pick Up the Pieces” and turn them inside out without ever disgorging them.

Clariphnic has warm production (and includes some extra percussion for a fuller sound). “The Abyss” is a really amazing workout, that slithers from funk to almost a trance sound and then progresses to (dare I say it) Wes Montgomery-inspired rip by Paterson. “Punjabi,” as the title suggests, features a driving beat and an insanely catchy, twangy Indian theme, complete with some tabla. Paterson seems to be toying a little more with his sound on this one. This album is simply full of propulsive yet infectious tunes that grab the listener and stick to the brain.

Flowtilla play around the San Francisco Bay Area; if you are anywhere near the South Bay, you can catch them (free!) on Saturday nights at the Paragon bar inside the Montgomery Hotel on South First Street. It’s some of the best live jazz in this area or any and definitely worth the trip to check it out. (You’ll probably see me there, too!)

Peter Haas


Very enjoyable
his works on a number of levels from a toe tapper to great in depth listening. As said elsewhere the guitar is very inventive with lots of layers and changes keeping your attention throughout. Impressive