Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
86

Mike Wofford / Holly Hofmann Quintet: Turn Signal

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count Views
Mike Wofford / Holly Hofmann Quintet: Turn Signal Down in out-of-the-way San Diego, California (that's out-of-the-way in a New York-centric jazz world), flautist Holly Hofmann and pianist Mike Wofford have been steadily making world-class jazz for a couple of decades. Wofford—who has spent much of his career in supporting roles, backing vocalists Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, saxophonists Zoot Sims and Benny Carter, and many more—is evolving into a first-rate leader. His Live at Athanaeum (Capri Records, 2004) demonstrated the pianist's acumen in the trio context, while Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Volume 2 (Capri Records, 2007), with partner-in-life-and-music Hofmann, showcased the couple in an intimate duo setting.

For her part, Hofmann fronted a marvelous quartet on Minor Miracle (Capri Records, 2004), with Wofford holding down the piano chair, as well as teaming engaging in a true flute fest on First Date (Capri Records, 2003), with Ali Ryerson and multiple reedman Frank Wess, as part of a trio dubbed Flutology.

With Turn Signal, the Wofford/Hofmann collaboration veers into tribute territory, opening with the groove-centric "The Dipper, (for Horace Silver)." Employing a quintet with the inspired choice of trumpeter Terell Stafford in the frontline with Hofmann, the tune has a modern feel and uniquely silky harmonic sound with the melding of trumpet and flute. Hofmann blows a solo with nuanced coolness and some surprising phrases, while Stafford possesses a bright and succinct sound in front of a deliberate rhythm.

With beautifully unfolding harmonies, "Esperanca" is Wofford's quintet take on the orchestral original by composer/arranger Vince Mendoza. Wofford's pensive solo emerges from fluid smoothness of the horns, backed adeptly by Rob Thorsen's muscular bass lines and drummer Richard Sellers' subtle percussive intricacies.

The group takes saxophonist Bobby Watson's "Karita" aloft, a soaring in the clouds affair with more delectable harmonies from Hofmann and Stafford, whose solo reaches for heaven in front of the locked-in-tight, cranking-it-up rhythm section, leading to Hofmann's gorgeous songbird turn.

Polished and adventurous, this is a gem of a CD. Engaging and, with the teaming of trumpet and flute, not the standard quintet jazz experience, Jimmy Forrest's "Soul Street" is a lesson in serious soulful swing. The group closes out with Hofmann's juiced-up "M-Line," the flautist at her most inspired as Stafford burns hot and brassy.


Track Listing: The Dipper (for Horace Silver); Esperanca; Karita; Soul Street; Pure Imagination; The Girl From Greenland; M-Line.

Personnel: Holly Hofmann: alto flute, piccolo; Terell Stafford: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Wofford: piano; Rob thorsen: bass; Richard Sellers: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Capri Records


Related Video

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
It's Personal
It's Personal
Capri Records
2014
buy
It's Personal
It's Personal
Capri Records
2013
buy
Turn Signal
Turn Signal
Capri Records
2011
buy
Live at Athenaeum Jazz
Live at Athenaeum Jazz

2005
buy
[no cover]
Live at theMaybeck...
Love Records
1992
buy
[no cover]
Live at the Maybeck...
Love Records
1992
buy
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Hank Jones Hank Jones
piano
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
piano
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
Bob McHugh Bob McHugh
piano
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Benny Green Benny Green
piano
Hal Galper Hal Galper
piano
Billy Harper Billy Harper
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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