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Turn Signal (feat. Terell Stafford)

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Album Review

Pianist Mike Wofford and flautist Holly Hofmann make a good team, as after they'd played together for a while, they became husband and wife, too. From this quintet session, they invited trumpeter Terell Stafford (who made a name for himself as a part of Bobby Watson's Horizon as well as recording as a leader), bassist Rob Thorson, and drummer Richard Sellers. The blend of flute and trumpet creates a warm harmony throughout much of the album, which is a compelling mix of strong originals and overlooked gems. Wofford's loping "The Dipper" is a tribute to Horace Silver, though it doesn't mimic his compositions. He integrates voicings similar to the jazz master's into his own framework. Hofmann's rambunctious post-bop vehicle "M-Line" sets the quintet afire, with sizzling solos by the composer and Stafford, followed by Wofford's intense workout. Bobby Watson's infectious, Latin-flavored "Karita" will be familiar to the alto saxophonist's fans, as he has recorded it several times and Stafford has likely played it on gigs with him. Stafford's fiery solo is exuberant without going overboard, followed by Hofmann's expressive, sublime solo. Wofford's bluesy playing is the highlight of Jimmy Forrest's "Soul Street," as Thorson and Sellers lay down a solid foundation underneath him. Dick Twardzik is nearly forgotten due to his early death from a drug overdose in the '50s, but "The Girl from Greenland" is evidence of his promise as a composer. Wofford's engaging trio interpretation pays tribute to the little-recorded pianist. Turn Signal is easily one of the best recordings by Mike Wofford and Holly Hofmann.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Despite leading a number of recording dates under his own name, pianist, composer, and arranger Mike Wofford was better known as a consummate accompanist, lending his skills to the music of such giants as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Benny Carter. A native of San Antonio, TX, Wofford was raised in San Diego, CA, and gained his earliest professional experience at the famed Lighthouse club in nearby Hermosa Beach. There he played with the likes of James Moody, and later enlisted with the bands...
Full Bio
Turn Signal (feat. Terell Stafford), Mike Wofford
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  • $12.53
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 15 November 2011

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