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July/August 2006

Holly Hofmann
Minor Miracle
Capri Records

Holly Hofmann possesses one of the most exquisite flute tones in jazz. She also demonstrates a sure technique, inventive ideas, a secure sense of swing and a broad emotional range. Put her with some of the best practitioners of their own instruments—husband Mike Wofford on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Victor Lewis on drums—interpreting together an attractive collection of standards and originals, and the result has to be a winner. And a winner Minor Miracle is, with all hands displaying a consummate professionalism enhanced by that special quality that only players of their caliber can bring to a performance.

Jobim’s lovely “Samba Do Avião,” a flute and piano duet, fittingly displays Hofmann’s beautiful tone and both improvisers’ highly melodic phrasing. Similar examples include Francis Himes’ Brazilian “Minha” and Cole Porter’s “Everything I Love.” On the other end of the emotional spectrum, “CRS-Craft,” a bluesy, 16-bar groover by the late bassist Ray Brown, finds the flutist digging in and swinging hard. Other up-tunes include Matt Dennis’ “Will You Still Be Mine,” Ellington and Strayhorn’s “Tonk” and Strayhorn’s “Johnny Come Lately” (fitted with an Afro-Cuban beat). The jaunty “Minor Miracle,” the couple’s own imaginative stretched blues (à la Bobby Timmons’ “This Here”) resides somewhere in between.

Originally published in July/August 2006
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