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Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

Jim Santella By

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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 today. Further music education at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Northern Colorado opened her eyes and ears to the possibilities. Two years of touring with Ray Brown brought a lot of that training together into one significant mass, as Hofmann turns it loose in performance.

"Minor Miracle," co-written with her husband, Mike Wofford, places the quartet in a suave situation that highlights the gentle paths that a flute can travel. Piano, bass, and drums coax the music out of her horn. The quartet shimmies with a light rhythmic syncopation that allows for natural expression.

Ray Bryant's "Tonk" struts with a perky attitude that allows Hofmann to unleash a soulful parade of melodies. Walking bass, ride cymbal, and block chord piano colors unite the flutist with a solid groove that keeps on driving. They carry this one and Billy Strayhorn's "Jonnny Come Lately" to powerful rhythmic heights. The ensemble continues to click on all eight cylinders, as the four artists pore through jazz's mainstream and interpret its heart accurately. Tomorrow's jazz scene doesn't need new gimmicks or fancy fads. All we need is right here with Hofmann's interpretations of the way jazz is supposed to sound.

Track Listing: Everything I Love; CRS-CRAFT; Minor Miracle; Samba do Avi

Personnel: Holly Hofmann- flute; Mike Wofford- piano; Peter Washington- bass; Victor Lewis- drums.

Title: Minor Miracle | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Unknown label

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