Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Holly Hofmann: Low Life: The Alto Flute Project

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Despite the sobriety of its title, Holly Hofmann’s 12th album is anything but clinical or cynical. Rather, it’s Hofmann’s celebration of the alto flute, a supple instrument of especially sultry timbre. Largely midtempo and expertly played, this album is beautiful, like the special flute it elevates to such rare profile. No matter the tune, Hofmann presses heart into the service of breath, animating a low-key catholic repertoire with a passion all the more captivating for its restraint. With pianist/husband Mike Wofford, bassist John Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton and, on four tracks, guitarist Anthony Wilson, Hofmann has crafted an album that, easy as it is to listen to, never defaults to the predictable.

Crisply produced by Wofford and Thomas Burns, its nine selections span Pat Metheny’s plangent and aspirational ballad “Farmer’s Trust,” Mulgrew Miller’s sensuous, Latino “Soul-Leo,” Wilson’s well-tailored “Jack of Hearts” and the mystical “Lumiere de la Vie,” a moody Hofmann composition that showcases the master flutist at her most deliberate and generous.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published