Tenderlonious returns home to his label 22a with this stunning six track EP. As the title suggests 'On Flute' shows us how diverse Tenderlonious's musicianship is as he embellishes each song with his signature flute sound. 'Ghana' sets the pace of the record with up-tempo afro beats, complimented by keys, strings, a distinctive lead synth and of course a soaring flute solo. 'Autumn Leaves' follows with a more UK broken-beat flavour, revealing a darker sense of atmosphere - think 'Bitches Brew' with a modern feel... Side A closes with 'Oedo Bushi,' a comparatively stripped back tune, a simple conga rhythm with flute and xylophone solos weaving in and out as if in conversation with each other - it's the type of tune reminiscent of something that you might hear in a classic samurai film like 'Shogun Assassin' or 'Harakiri'.
Side B starts strong and steady with 'Song For My Father', an upbeat number fusing funk and disco to create the perfect dance floor filler that builds to a climax with one of Tenderlonious's wild flute solos (one of my personal favourites!). 'In A Sentimental Mood' follows and, as the title suggests, shows the listener how this producer came by his name. Tender flute inflections and sensitive lead synths, backed by quiet whispers make this the perfect accompaniment to an intimate candle lit dinner. The EP finishes with 'Dale's Corner,' another broken feel on this one with delayed Rhodes supported by tasteful flute lines throughout - it leaves the listener feeling uplifted and wanting more!
To conclude, this is quite possibly Tenderlonious's finest work to date. There are not many producers that I can think of that have managed to fuse as many influences and musical approaches into one record as he has. He is clearly emerging to be one of the most talented multi-instrumentalists in modern music today.
I might love this even more than Black Focus. Why? There is more of a focus on that Wu Funk sound, more melodies by the rhythm master, more hip-hop flavor, a chance for Kamaal to really shine. A perfect balance between hard hitting sounds with more melodic and meditative ones. One of the few albums I wish was 24-bit quality, that is how great this is. At the top of all the 2018 "best of" lists for a reason. Much respect HW. Edward