John Hicks/Elise Woods
Single Petal of a Rose, Mapleshade Productions
CD 02532, 1994 (65:29)
Romantic jazz, and
whats wrong with that?
The flute has always seemed an odd instrument for jazz.
There is something so subtle and predictable about its tone
that I never feel the player has enough room to really
improvise. On this recording the fine pianist John Hicks
teams up with flutist Elise Wood for a variety of ballads
that provide a mellow and romantic, candle-lit dinner kind
of sound. The title track, composed by Duke Ellington, is
played with simplicity and elegance by the duo. Bassist
Walter Booker helps out on a number of tracks and provides a
steady foundation for the two to encircle. On the tender
David Murray composition, "Ballad of a Black Man,"
trumpeter Jack Walrath joins Hicks-Woods and the three
improvise together as coequal voices. Walrath also joins in
with a muted trumpet on the final track "Virgo."
Hicks is at his best on Gershwins "Embraceable
You" and I kept wanting to hear more of him alone
throughout the CD. Mark Craemer