Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Essential Hubert Laws album
Michael Kydonieus | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The guy who is into Mongo and Airto (I am too) is missing the point of this album. This is an album of John Murtaugh string arrangements, about half covers, have originals, accompanied by Laws' flute playing. The arrangements are INCREDIBLY tasty as are the flute solos. In fact, the arrangements and the solos blend in so perfectly, I halfway suspect that they were composed by Murtaugh and played by Laws (who was an excellent reader and could have easily managed it). This suspicion is increased by the fact that Laws' solo on "Yoruba" (the only small group improvisation on the record) is by far the weakest solo on the album. By the way, for those or you who purchase this cd, LISTEN to it before you give it away, thinking that it is easy listening elevator music. I admit, it may be pretty, but musically, it is completely uncompromising. If you don't believe me, try humming along to the fluto solos. Go ahead, I dare ya. If you would like to read more reviews like this, check out JazzboNotes.com.
This one is cool...
Walter Edwards | Mt. Vernon, NY United States | 08/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't want to sound cliche' and say that this seventies jazz album is "relaxing" or anything like that, but compared to more upbeat albums, this one definitely stands out. Firstly, even though there are percussioners, they don't really stand out until the last track. I thought that this was an overall good album, unique use of violins, cellos, etc...giving the album a kind of orchestral background for Hubert to deliver excellent flute solos. One thing that I'm biased about is that I am a Mongo fan, as well as Airto. They don't appear until the last track and I remember feeling that the album would have been that much better had they been included on each track. I guess that would have been a challenge, placing brazillian/Afro-Cuban artists with a group of violinists, but what's good jazz music without a challenge for the performers and for the listener to make sense of? I still like it and am glad that I picked up this one. Hearing the style of Hubert makes me want to pick up some more of his work."
Wild Flower's Roots Run Deep
T. Harriman | State of Deception | 03/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that I have not been a big fan of Hubert Laws. Although highly competent, he seems to lose his musical direction at times and I feel his performances suffer for it on many occasions. I picked up this Atlantic album back in the '70s however, and its intriguing mix of personnel did not disappoint then or now. Previous reviewers correctly dialed in on the seemingly benign and light musical forms that somehow maintain tension throughout this date. Rather than another "crossover" attempt, we get performances rooted in solid jazz lines; a surprising achievement from the likes of arranger John Murtaugh. I couldn't get enough of Coltrane's "Equinox", taken here at a slightly quicker pace giving it an urgency that's addicting, and Laws really digs into it. Repeated listenings find new and magical nuances within each track and I can highly recommend these arrangements. I will certainly hang on to my vinyl copy -- the sound is full and robust, giving this adventurous production the sound it deserves. See also some of Hubert's work on the early CTI jazz recordings of the '70s. He really flows on a great Milt Jackson issue titled "Goodbye" (CTI, 1972), which is well worth obtaining for jazz fans."