Flutist Holly Hofmann's Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2 was recorded during the summer of 2006 at San Diego' s Athenaeum Jazz Music and Arts Library, in duet with musical partner/husband, Mike Wofford. Prior to the quartet recording Minor Miracle (Capri, 2005) Wofford's piano trio released the well-received Live at Athenaeum Jazz (Capri, 2004).
Though earlier efforts may be hard to come by, Hofmann's recent signing with Colorado-based Capri means she is now on a larger indie label. Previously, she was on the smaller Azica label, coincident to her tenure with the Ray Brown group.
Originally from Cleveland, Hofmann, studied with Slide Hampton and Frank Wess, relocating to San Diego in the mid-1980s. Championed by legendary bassist Ray Brown, Hofmann was a regular member of his group for a seven-year period until his passing in 2002. Although Hofmann had a significant series of recordings with other musicians including pianist Bill Cunliffe, her 2000 marriage to Wofford signaled a new collaboration.
P>Texas pianist Mike Wofford has a long history of active playing during the exciting period of West Coast Jazz during the 1960s, and served as the keyboardist for the Lighthouse All Stars.
This album presents both players at their best, with Hofmann's swing-oriented playing being highlighted, as well as Wofford's noteworthy ability to match her with prodding pianistics. Although this is not a "mood album" per se, a suggestion might be to play the opening track, Vincent Youman's "More Than You Know," on either a beautiful summer day or evening to maximize the tune's ultimate romantic presentation. On the other hand, the Ralph Ranger/ Leo Robin classic "If I Should Lose You" seems to be taken at a faster pace than usual after the melody statement, which Hofmann plays on alto flute.
An interesting Thelonious Monk medley begins with he rarely heard "Introspection," and flows into "Eronel." Hofmann's "Pentimento," with a tango-ish touch, is another highlight. The album ends with a spirited "Exactly Like You," with Wofford striding behind the flute.
Personnel: Holly Hofmann: flute, alto flute; Mike Wofford: piano.