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Alexander Zonjic: Reach For the Sky

Reach for the Sky (Heads Up HUCD 3063; 44:16) finds flutist Alexander Zonjic stretching for some interesting pop and jazz covers that make good use of his warm, polished flute play. Thoroughly redefined arrangements work out well for the veteran piper. For example, Carole King’s “It’s too Late” is mixed with interesting light-groove percussion for darkness and attitude, making Zonjic’s echoing melody a strong burst of feeling. The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” gets a weirdly playful zing, reimagined as a bouncy, ’70s-style funk piece. Zonjic takes us back to the lovely, snaking melody of Bob James’ “Angela (Theme From Taxi)” in a sparse arrangement. The best of the jazz pieces present a straightforward, lithe brand of sweetness, like “This Is the Day,” with a nice, understated guitar solo by Earl Klugh. Only a few tracks cross that line into overpoweringly sweet arrangements, but any lingering sugar is cut nicely by Zonjic’s work on “Swinging Shepherd Blues,” which builds from slyly sliding flute and bass to a full cool blue combo on the album’s best all-out romp.

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