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First Date

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Album Review

Over the years, bop has had its share of summit sessions — that is, sessions in which three or four people are playing the same instrument. Prestige was big on summits in the '50s; back then, the label's A&R department seemed to be especially fond of tenor sax, alto sax, and trumpet summits. But flute summits have been a rarity in bop, which has a lot to do with the fact that the flute hasn't been among jazz's more prominent wind instruments; in jazz, flutists have always been greatly outnumbered by trumpeters and saxophonists. A rare example of a flute summit, First Date finds three flutists — Frank Wess, Holly Hofmann, and Ali Ryerson — forming a front line and joining forces with a rhythm section that consists of pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Ben Riley. There are no saxophones, trumpets, clarinets, or trombones in the Flutology sextet — just the all-flute front line and a rhythm section — and this yields enjoyable results on three Wess compositions as well as familiar standards like Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born" and Lee Morgan's "Ceora." Yes, some of the standards that Flutology embraces on this 2003 date have been beaten to death over the years, but how often have you heard three flutists tackling Charlie Parker's "Bebop" or Hank Mobley's "This I Dig of You" simultaneously and doing so without any help from sax or trumpet players? Besides, Flutology also unearths some worthwhile compositions that, as of 2003, hadn't become standards, including Don Grolnick's "Rainesville" and pianist Bill Cunliffe's "Flutopia." So one cannot accuse this sextet of having an "all-warhorses-all-the-time" policy when it comes to selecting material. One can, however, see the historic value of the three-flute front line that Flutology brings to the pleasing First Date.

Customer Reviews

Unexpected

Heard on radio, had to have. I try to introduce my high school students to new and different. Good jazz.

Awesome

Heard about these guys on NPR. Great talent....the flutes are muy caliente

First Date, Flutology
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: Jul 03, 2003

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