Brox has assembled an impressive group of musicians on FROM WITHIN.

Fresh Sound Records

Fernando Bros – Flute; Iago Fernandez – Drums; Iannis Obiols – Piano; Nadav Erlich – Double Bass; Wilfred Wilde – Guitar

Classically trained Fernando Brox had a long career in classical music but decided to grab his flute and step into the world of jazz. His fourth album, FROM WITHIN, has been released on Fresh Sound Records.

Brox has assembled an impressive group of musicians on FROM WITHIN. They all met while studying at the Jazzcampus in Basel Switzerland. Iannis Obiols plays the piano. Israeli bassist Nadav Erlich is now based in Basel, where the album was recorded. Drummer Iago Fernandez also records on Fresh Sound Records as does guitarist Wilfred Wilde.

Iannis Obiols has a trio with Fernandez and Erlich. Last year, they released a terrific album, PARA MIS FRIENDS.

Other classically trained flutists have transitioned to playing jazz. Hubert Laws played with jazz greats like Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. Jean-Pierre Rampal recorded several albums with Jazz musician Claude Bolling. Paul Horn played with Chico Hamilton and Duke Ellington. Ian Anderson, the frontman for Jethro Tull, studied flute at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Jethro Tull’s music is rock, but Anderson can get pretty jazzy. When I saw him live I was reminded of another great flutist, Jeremy Steig.

Drummer Fernandez’s rhythmic beat on ‘Kuku’ sounds like the unbroken momentum of a train in motion. The guitar, bass, and piano toss melodic phrases back and forth while locked into Fernandez’s groove. This band is good at adding layers and textures. Brox’s technique is flawless. Listen to his articulation when he plays staccato and legato notes. He makes bending the pitch sound easy, making for some very interesting solos.

‘Kalahari,’ the longest cut on the album has a spacey start. The bass meanders melodically. The piano seems to pick notes at random. There are short memos from the flute that almost start phrases, and then the music eases into a laidback bossa nova. Fernandez’s drum patterns are easy to get lost in. Brox gets a lot of different sounds out of the flute. He’ll add vibrato to his standard tone or he’ll sound like a bunch of birds when he flutter tongues.

Brox wrote and arranged everything on FROM WITHIN. ‘Rumba Pa Ti’ has an infectious Cuban vibe. You get to hear what a great guitarist Wilfried Wilde is. Besides reverb, and sometimes a bit of delay, he doesn’t use a lot of electronics. He did use a Line 6 Pod Go amp and effects processor for this album. When I first heard him play he reminded me of Tal Farlow.

’The Bagpiper’ has a hard bop feel. Guitar and flute play the mid-tempo theme in unison. Wilde solos a beautiful single note run on the guitar, and Obiols echos the same thing on the piano. Brox plays straight ahead flute, sounding like Herbie Mann in his younger days.

This band is going on tour this summer, mainly in Brox’s home country of Spain. I would love to catch some of their shows.