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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Low Life: The Alto Flute Project

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Holly Hofmann, one of the jazz world's premier flutists, explores a deeper-toned territory with Low Life: The Alto Flute Project. Primarily a conventional C flautist--with an impressive discography--Hofmann has broken out the lower tone of the alto flute in her concerts, and occasionally on record. Now it's time for a full length CD featuring her expertise on the instrument. The range of the alto flute is limited, requiring an artist to say more with less. Hofmann and her band--headed up by her husband, pianist Mike Wofford--are up to the challenge. The group reigns in the extended soloing and ...

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Furthering The Flute In Jazz: Holly Hofmann and Bill McBirnie

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Long gone are the days when the flute was only seen as a jazz novelty or a saxophonist's double. Once upon a time you could count the number of notable jazz flautists on a hand (or two), but the ranks have swelled a little bit over the years, and those leading the charge today aren't content with working the same exact angles as their predecessors. An ambitious crop of flute players are out there shaking things up nowadays. Ali Ryerson's Game Changer (Capri, 2013) lived up to its name, proving that flutes could fill out a big ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Wofford / Holly Hofmann Quintet: Turn Signal

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Holly Hofmann is an energetic, swinging, straight-ahead jazz flautist who has been performing for over 30 years. Mike Wofford, her husband, a recognized piano master, co-leads on Turn Signal, playing with an understated, intuitively rhythmic style. The two now live in San Diego, California, but travel extensively for performances. Recording her first disc for Capri in 1989, Turn Signal is her twelfth CD as a leader, in a career that has included collaborations with pianists Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton, and bassist Ray Brown. Wofford has been on the scene since the sixties, performing with greats including ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Wofford / Holly Hofmann Quintet: Turn Signal

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Down in out-of-the-way San Diego, California (that's out-of-the-way in a New York-centric jazz world), flautist Holly Hofmann and pianist Mike Wofford have been steadily making world-class jazz for a couple of decades. Wofford--who has spent much of his career in supporting roles, backing vocalists Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, saxophonists Zoot Sims and Benny Carter, and many more--is evolving into a first-rate leader. His Live at Athanaeum (Capri Records, 2004) demonstrated the pianist's acumen in the trio context, while Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2 (Capri Records, 2007), with partner-in-life-and-music Hofmann, showcased the couple in an intimate duo setting.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann / Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann / Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2

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San Diego isn't known as a jazz town in the same way New York or Chicago are, but this city in the southwest corner of the country has its fair share of fine venues for the music, and boasts some first rate artists as well.One of the best places to hear San Diego jazz is the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library's Music Room, an intimate setting with no audience member more than twenty feet from the performers. On August 2006, two of San Diego's finest jazz musicians, flutist Holly Hofmann and pianist Mike Wofford, presented a duo performance ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

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The flute is a hard sell for a small core of jazz purists who'd rather it were confined to the precincts of the local symphony orchestra. At best a change of pace, at worst a nuisance. Those who feel that way had best stop reading at this point while I sing the praises of Holly Hofmann, a flutist (or is it flautist?) with a pleasing sound, exemplary technique and irrepressible swing in her soul.

Hofmann's latest album (and tenth overall) leans toward the Latin, which isn't a bad idea, as the flute rests quite comfortably in that milieu. The laid-back ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

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Oozing with genuine charm, flutist Holly Hofmann interprets mainstream jazz the way it's supposed to be. Her view of the world has been seasoned by mentors and musical partners such as Ray Brown, Mike Wofford, Bill Cunliffe, and John Clayton.

Hofmann's father, a jazz guitarist, influenced her career choices, and her parents ensured her a thorough grounding in the fine arts. She received her first flute at age five. While studying with Maurice Sharp, the principal flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra, she gained valuable tools that have helped her achieve the sound that makes things work for her ...

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Mike Wofford & Holly Hofmann

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Mike Wofford Trio Live at Athenaeum Jazz Capri 2004

Pianist Mike Wofford's trio allows this in demand vocal accompanist and arranger to stretch out and lead the way with a swinging rhythm section that includes master drummer Victor Lewis and top NYC bassist Peter Washington. Live at Athenaeum Jazz captures this unit going through their paces at a San Diego concert while Minor Miracle has them taking a supporting role to Wofford's significant other, world class flutist Holly Hofmann. Opening their concert program with a relaxing 5/4 take on the standard ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

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Holly Hofmann has been recording steadily since the late 1980s and her credibility among musicians and jazz critics secured an award for her in the “Rising Star" category in the Downbeat Critics Jazz Poll as a flutist. Her latest outing is with her husband and frequent musical partner, Mike Wofford (piano), plus Peter Washington (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums). Hofmann has appeared in a variety of musical settings over the past fifteen years for a number of labels like Capri, Azica and Jazz Alliance in duo, trio and small combo sessions.

Although Holly Hofmann has classical training, her ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

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I'm indebted to Holly Hofmann. I had very little interest in jazz flute until I encountered First Date (Capri Records, '03) by Flutology, a set that featured a front line trio of flutists Hofmann, Frank Wess and Ali Ryerson. The opener, the classic high octane “Be Bop," knocked me out. It seemed such an “un-flutey" number, but they just cooked on it. This ear-opener, an excellent disc all around, had me soon out searching the record racks for Herbie Mann and Hubert Laws, and getting deeper into the Brazilian sound.On Minor Miracle Hofmann blows her bluesy, hard driving ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Holly Hofmann: Flutopia

P>This is the third album Holly Hofmann has recorded for Azica Records. All of them team Hofmann and with Bill Cunliffe and his Hammond B3 organ. Hofmann is one of the few who started with the flute and stuck with it as her only instrument, rather than it being an adjunct to the sax.

The flute is jazz is a relatively recent development. It was only after 1950 that it was regularly as part of jazz groups. Wayman Carter was the most well known user of the instrument before 1950. But then along came the likes of Frank Wess, Buddy ...



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