By Cree McCree | Published January 2021
Nurtured in the creative cauldron of London’s vibrant jazz scene, pianist Maria Chiara Argirò and guitarist Jamie Leeming hit a collaborative sweet spot the first time they jammed, and their natural affinity shines through on the duo’s debut. Dreamy and intimate, Flow also is an about-face for Argirò, whose 2019 album Hidden Seas, recorded with a full band, was as expansive as the ocean itself. Working with a much smaller palette on Flow, she and Leeming paint a pointillist study that shimmers with luminescence and electronic flourishes.
Flow clocks in at fewer than 40 minutes and brief tracks like “Interlude” are just playful sketches; others create surprisingly cinematic soundscapes. “Retrograde,” penned by the iconoclastic James Blake, thrums with syncopated beats beneath Argirò and Leeming’s lyrical flights, evoking a mythical beast emerging from hibernation in a Sergio Leone landscape. Befittingly, “Rubik’s” interlocks guitar and piano like pieces of a puzzle; when Leeming waxes flamenco, Argirò coyly dances off until both come to an abrupt stop. Though too fleeting an exercise to qualify as a major statement, Flow whets the appetite for an Argirò-Leeming rematch.
Flow: Opening; Kosetsu; Flow; Retrograde; Fables Intro; Fables; Rubik’s; Interlude; Tune No. 1; Boo’s Lullaby. (36:57)
Personnel: Maria Chiara Argirò, piano; Jamie Leeming, guitar.