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Flautist Matt Marvuglio is the Dean of the Berklee College of Music's Professional Performance Division and with this album one can easily see why he was appointed to that post. Preconceptions creep in when I pick up a flute CD. First, the harmonic range possibilities are more limited than other instruments; second, the music is guaranteed to be smooth and saccharine. Marvuglio and his cohorts put those unwarranted preconceptions to rest with some sterling swinging throughout this CD, mixed with some romantic ballads played with feeling and imagination. The presence of vibes player Ed Saindon is a major factor in the successful outcome of the session. Listen to his clean percussive sound he gets from the metal bars on such tunes as a cleverly arranged "On Green Dolphin Street", with Barry Smith's bass getting plenty of play. Marvuglio has a decided lilt to his instrument when he's playing the melody line. Then when he starts to move away inserting his own ideas, he does so with a sense of confidence that makes the music take on a life of its own. The interplay between Marvuglio and Saindon on the classic "Stella by Starlight", with the flute riding the melody and the vibraphonist roaming around underneath before he takes his solo, makes for a worthy melange of sound and structure. The icing on the cake is added as Smith sneaks in with his dark bass lines. Yet "Kick the Can" seems to be an excuse for the flautist to wander up and down the instrument without any real purpose in mind. But this is a rare drop off the performance.
It's clear from the outset of this that session these three professionals have settled on the way they want to present the play, strong, innovative and above all swinging. These objectives are admirably met and this album is highly recommended.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.