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Herbie Mann is who I think of first when considering "jazz flute." Then, I suppose, there are James Moody and Frank Wess. Chip Shelton is a new name to me and his recent recording, Flute Bass-ics. This disc has languished at the bottom of my pile for consideration too long. It is a completely enjoyable outing that warranted serious attention.
Mr. Shelton's debut on Summit steps out of the jazz flute fray in two fundamental ways. First, it employs the current Ron Carter Quartet, and second, it features the multi-talented Shelton playing a variety of flutes and flute relatives. This type of music is reminiscent of early 1970s detective shows where the soundtrack is intended to infer a relaxed yet dangerous environment. Light and airy, the music never gets in the way and is not too damn hard to understand.
Now, the songs... "Biko and Mandela" is a African pop vibe honoring those two South African heroes. Less is more on the single blues, "Blue Chip," a strolling duet between Shelton and Carter. Tadd Dameron?s "The Scene is Clean" is waxed Latin with a heavy dose of bebop. The remaining standard, "I?ll Remember April," is equally provocative and enjoyable.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.