Holly Hofmann: Minor Miracle

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.