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Holly Hofman / Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2 (2007)

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Holly Hofman / Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Holly Hofmann (flute) and Mike Wofford (piano) make beautiful music together. The husband and wife have teamed for several acclaimed recordings including Flutology, Minor Miracle, and Further Adventures, all on Capri Records. They continue with another superb set of duets on Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2.

Both Hofmann and Wofford have a concentrated sense for the lyrical, adding an air of romanticism and injecting a sense of humor into their playing, all of which hinges on an emotional pith.

They pair two Monk compositions in "Introspection/Eronel. Hofmann plays the alto flute on the first and gives the title its truth. Her approach is contemplative, but it is the perfect one as she instills a dark, brooding quality to keep the sentiment palpable. The second takes flight, airy and lithe. Wofford adds the rhythm pulse, his comping filling in the spaces. When he takes off, he juices the melody and varies the context just enough to add a succulent flavor and make the whole attractive.

Presentimiento has enough of the tang of the tango to make it sensuous. Hofmann indulges in the melody of this masterful composition, before she shows her sense of improvisation with a charming sense of phrasing. Wofford's shadings are subtle in his accompaniment, and when he takes hold his dynamics reinvent the landscape.

Wofford gets to show his technique and creativity to a larger degree on the bouncy "Exactly Like You. He is lissome, yet he never strays from emphasis, rooting his playing in the harmony. Hofmann is agile and slightly frisky, but the song is from her heart. It's a joyous ode to love and the perfect vehicle for Hofmann and Wofford.

Track Listing: More Than You Know; Floof; Introspection/Eronel; No Mercy; Twelve; Free Day (for Samuel Barber); Out of This World; If I Should Lose you; Presentimiento; Exactly Like You.

Personnel: Holly Hofmann: C and alto flute; Mike Wofford: piano.

Record Label: Capri Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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