Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle (2004)
Holly Hofmann has been recording steadily since the late 1980s and her credibility among musicians and jazz critics secured an award for her in the "Rising Star" category in the Downbeat Critics Jazz Poll as a flutist. Her latest outing is with her husband and frequent musical partner, Mike Wofford (piano), plus Peter Washington (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums). Hofmann has appeared in a variety of musical settings over the past fifteen years for a number of labels like Capri, Azica and Jazz Alliance in duo, trio and small combo sessions.
Although Holly Hofmann has classical training, her flutework is bebop-influenced. She possesses a strong but soulful delivery and in no way resembles the "flute-lite" sound heard frequently in smooth jazz recordings nowadays. The album begins with two songs associated with her former employer, bassist Ray Brown. On Cole Porter's "Everything I Love" and the jaunty Brown original, "CRS-CRAFT," Hoffman states the melody and launches into lyrical and swinging solos just as she did on the road with the Ray Brown trio. On the latter, Peter Washington gets to provide a Brown-like bass line.
There's a very pleasing touch of Brazil via her perfomance on Jobim's "Samba do Aviao" with Wofford providing sympatico support and on Francis Hime's "Minha" with tasty work from Wofford and then Victor Lewis. Beginning with a rhythmic vamp from pianist Wofford, "Tonk," written by pianist Ray Bryant, is a sure-fire toe-tapper and, in other eras, would have been a hit. It features an intense flute solo. Billy Strayhorn's tender ballad "Johnny Come Lately" and Matt Dennis' "Will You Still Be Mine?" allow for Hofmann's balladry and a swinging finale.
Track Listing: Everyone I Love, CRS-CRAFT, Minor Miracle, Samba do Aviao, Tonk, Johnny Come Lately, Minha, Will You Still Be Mine?
Personnel: Holly Hofmann,flute; Mike Wofford,piano; Peter Washington,bass; Victor Lewis, drums.