"The Flail is a quintet composed of post-music-school cats in their early 30s who rip up the joint... A touch experimental, a bit cacophonous, The Flail artfully lives up to its name."
-- Karl Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer
"Sometimes playing it straight is good, and in the case of The Flail it's very good... Despite a name that suggests spastic movement this is measured, gorgeously executed and warm... [They] move with seamless, telepathic grace, each accenting and lifting the other's contributions splendidly...”
-- Dennis Cook of JamBase.com
“What a magnificent discovery! What good there is, in my job as a critic, is that sometimes, far too rarely, one discovers a group like The Flail... Their jazz is consonant, inventive, and never falls into easy effects or sounds unpleasing to the ear.”
-- Michel Bedin of Jazz Hot
The Flail is a New York City-based jazz quintet. The members met while attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and quickly became friends. From its inception in 2001, the Flail has focused on developing a group sound; as such, there has never been a 'leader' of the band - every member has an equal voice, musically and otherwise. This attitude is woven through all aspects of their music.
The Flail's repertoire is mainly comprised of original compositions written by all the members of the band. Some of these compositions were inspired by direct experiences the band has gone through together. Others were written with the personalities and musical sound of the members in mind. Some were even written as a challenge. Rather than thinking in terms of genres and styles, or of even 'old' and 'new', The Flail strives to tell their story through music.
The Flail has performed at some of the biggest and most prestigious venues and events in the world. Over the course of four tours in France they have played more than fifty concerts to packed houses in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Renne, Ardeche, and Marseille; highlights include Jazz a Vienne (2002, 2004) and the Marseille Festival du Jazz des Cinq Continents (2002, 2005). Their latest tour (2007) brought them to Madrid, Spain, for the first time. In New York City they perform at such places as Smalls Jazz Club, Fat Cat and Sweet Rhythm, while on tours of the East Coast they frequent Blues Alley and Twins Jazz in Washington, DC, An Die Musik in Baltimore, and Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia.
The Flail has released three albums, Live in France (2002), taken from one particularly lively concert in Grenoble, Never Fear (2006), recorded at the famed Acousti Studio in Paris, and The Flail (2008), recorded live at Smalls in NYC in November 2007.
Some other tidbits about The Flail that should be mentioned:
- In 2002, they were chosen to headline a concert showcasing young jazz talent at Carnegie Hall. - In 2002 and 2004 they collaborated with an association of young French skateboarders from Villefontaine in putting on hip-hop shows in Lyon. Electric Flail? You bet! Funky Flail? Ah oui oui!
“I’d pay good money to see these guys play.” -- Jazz legend Kenny Barron
“The best young group I’ve heard in years. A real BAND.” --- Jazz legend Junior Mance