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Flutes: Jeremy Steig, Krzysztof Popek & Anne Drummond

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Jeremy Steig

Howlin' for Judy

Solid State-Blue Note

2009


Krzysztof Popek

Estate

Power Brothers

2009


Anne Drummond

Like Water

Obliqsound

2009


Full-time flutists don't get much respect in the male-dominated, hard-driving jazz culture (certain Latin leaders like Dave Valentin and Maraca Valle excepted). Truth to tell, two of the three flute specialists here don't exert enough pizzazz or subtlety to thwart those numbers.

Jeremy Steig's breathless flutery stars in the sparse 1969 and 1970 studio sets compiled into Howlin' For Judy, with a focused rhythm team of bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Don Alias. Steig puffs his huffy-wuffy flute in looping vampy overdubs: the effect is a trancey jam, intensely one-track, kinda bongo fury for a druggy Beat party or—if you want to get prophetic—proto-fusion, with lava lamp, spliffs and day-glo flared jeans. There's no changes outside the blues and no discernible theme but an 11-minute stretch on Miles Davis' easterly "Nardis" played late in the day. Gomez and Alias lay a comfy cushion for Steig's zo-zo, wheezy-slurpy sound and dead-simple concept.

Polish fluter Krzysztof Popek owns an attractive tone and not-too-clean if classic-honed ideas on alto flute. Estate is a mellow, straight-ahead post-bop date that, like Steig's, might've been cut in the '70s, as it covers bop hits ("Forest Flower," "Melting Pot") and the title track (Italian melody turned samba lilt by Jo

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