Half Notes: Mike Wofford and Holly Hofmann – Turn Signal (2012)

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Photo Courtesy of Mark Keller


Holly Hofmann, as we noted before, thrives on collaborations with pianists, and she’s had some notables ones with Bill Cunliffe. This master flautist has also combined her talents with another illustrious piano player, one from a prior generation: Hoffman’s husband Mike Wofford. Wofford, whose made records under his own name since 1966, is probably best known as a first-call accompanist, having added his highly refined touch to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Carter and Bud Shank. A clever and tasteful player, Wofford can be heard casually tossing in a quote from “Pannonica” within “Esperança,” or engaging agilely with drummer Richard Sellers on the Hoffman-less “The Girl From Greenland.” Hofmann possesses one of the more distinctive sounds on the flute: a capacious tone and a fluid articulation. Almost sax-like, actually, which makes her flute blend particularly well with Terell Stafford’s trumpet. A delight repertoire of seven songs, including one a piece by Wofford and Hoffman, the common thread running through most of them is that they groove. Whether it’s the steady strut of “Soul Street,” the relaxed vibe of the Horace Silver tribute “The Dipper” or the perky pace of “Karita,” the rhythm section of Sellers and bassist Rob Thorsen, along with the seasoned accompanist skills of Wofford, gives this record soul to go along with the chops. But if chops are what you seek, then check out the sizzling performances by Stafford, Hofmann and Wofford on Hofmann’s bop delight “M-Line”

Turn Signal is slated for release January 17 on Capri Records.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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