Flutist Chip Shelton likes variety. His instruments are unique, and his musical programs always come with pleasant surprises. In addition to his arsenal of flutes from every musical register, he's elected this time out to add soprano sax and several poignant vocals to the program.
Shelton's lyrical flute warbles like a songbird in the sunshine of a cool morning on Horace Silver's "Peace as Jann Parker interprets lyrics by Doug Carn. His soprano saxophone graces a hip arrangement of "I've Known Rivers with sparkling colors. His alto flute can be found on his warm composition "Imprints, which drives straight-ahead with a dramatic quality that recalls John Coltrane's "Impressions.
Unlike the G alto flute, Shelton's B-flat alto flute has a timbre nearly identical to the C concert flute. His contrabass flute, on the other hand, runs to the far end of the family's tonal spectrum. This deep, dark, delicious and airy instrument can be heard briefly on "Down Home New York.
Shelton's vocal antics, imposed on four tracks, do not add significantly to the program. With "I've Known Rivers, for example, he issues a series of dramatic statements that fail to convince. Surrounded by a stellar group of accompanying musicians, he paints a lively landscape that favors instrumental colors over vocal charm.
Shelton's C flute remains his strong point throughout this, his third Summit release. Since the mid-1980s, he's brought a credible approach to flute jazz that cannot be discounted. Combining this natural method of expression with a hearty desire to swing and groove, Shelton has met continued success.
Imprints; Nukes, May They Rust in Peace; Peace; Man in the Green Shirt; I
Chip Shelton: C flute, Bb alto flutes, contrabass flute, soprano saxophone, vocals; Roy Meriwether, Jim Klein: piano; Lou Volpe: guitar; Marcus McLaurine: bass; Dwayne Cook Broadnax, Greg Bufford: drums; Guiellerme Franco, Daoud-David Williams, Everald Brown: percussion; Jann Parker: vocals.
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