Mike Wofford & Holly Hofmann

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Wofford Trio
Live at Athenaeum Jazz

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 "My Old Flame", the trio then dramatically picks up the tempo with a pumping version of Duke Ellington's "Take the Coltrane" that has Washington contributing a harmonically appealing extended bass solo. Washington is again featured on an enticing "Macedonia" as Wofford's economical style convinces that less is more while the Lewis composition, "Dex-Mex" pays homage to tenor great Dexter Gordon with flurries of intricate tapped out cymbal and tom rhythms. Wofford hits stride on an interesting medley that pairs Leonard Bernstein's "Lucky to be Me" with Ellington's "I'm Just a Lucky So and So". Bernstein's Broadway ballad is given a touching solo interpretation that moves into an up tempo swinging account of Duke's bluesy piece. Lewis drums an expanded intro to Sting's "It's Probably Me" that benefits from Wofford's economy as things are brought to a close with a strong version of Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing for You" in which both Wofford and Washington view the catchy melody from all sides.

Holly Hofmann Quartet
Minor Miracle

With the addition of flutist Holly Hofmann as leader, the trio easily adapts to an eclectic studio session divided into four sections. "CRS-CRAFT" and "Everything I Love" comprise a tribute to recently departed bassist Ray Brown. Hofmann is able to swing with her pianistic partner on the former and add a lovely texture to Brown's arrangement of the latter Cole Porter ballad. A testimony to their relationship consists of the jointly composed title cut, with both flute and piano sharing the spotlight through alternating solos, and a delicate duet performance of "Samba do Avião". A pleasant interlude is spent listening to a cheerful rendition of "Tonk" before the festivities turn Latin. Hofmann adds fire to Wofford's Afro-Cuban rhythms on their rendition of "Johnny Come Lately" that is in stark contrast to the heartfelt emotion of the Brazilian ballad "Minha". Spirits and Hoffman's flute soar on "Will You Still Be Mine" as her quick crisp attack makes for a punch out closer.

Live at Athenaeum Jazz
Tracks: My Old Flame, Take the Coltrane, Macedonia, Dex-Mex, Medley: Lucky to Be Me/I'm Just a Lucky So and So, It's Probably Me, The Best Thing for You

Personnel: Mike Wofford-Piano, Peter Washington-Bass. Victor Lewis-Drums

Minor Miracle
Tracks: Everything I Love, CRS-CRAFT, Minor Miracle, Samba do Avião, Tonk, Johnny Come Lately, Minha, Will You Still Be Mine?

Personnel: Holly Hofmann - c flute, Mike Wofford - piano, Peter Washington -bass, Victor Lewis - drums


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space" Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Roots In The Green Mountains" Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's Dateless Night" Multiple Reviews Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana" Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo" Multiple Reviews Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, &...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.