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Matt Eakle
Flute Jazz,  Acoustic Disc CD ACD-30, 1998

 All together now: "Flute jazz."

Wow. I was surprised to find no cover of Mancini music on this cd. I mean, it’s flute jazz, and I’m afraid that’s the first thing I think of when someone says "jazz flute" to me. Then I think of Snoopy music. But, to each his own stereotype.

I’ll have to admit that, not looking at the track list, and doing other things as the CD plays out, I can’t tell the difference between tracks at times. Where does one song end, where does the next begin? That’s no problem if you’re putting the music on for background or for mood. But then again, I doubt if your un-average thrash metal fan is going to go looting the local Border’s for anything called  Flute Jazz. This may be the kind of album you have to like before you buy it. You know what to expect, what you want from this album. So, you get it.

The basic formula is: flute, with soft plucking guitar chords underneath, with the odd bongo or someone hitting a wicker basket in the next room.

Jimmy Van Heusen’s "Like Someone In Love" is a good cover, and Eakle’s own "Flute Jazz"–you guessed it! The cover song!–I find quite relaxing and sprightly. "Speak Low," by the only Alec Wilder ever, darts around like a bird on a KFC roof. The bass bangs and plucks away, and this is the first song I remember hearing the bass in! So–bonus points, people.

The great thing about jazz is that, at its best, it takes something you’ve heard before and plays with it until it’s totally new. Well, unless you read music. If you’re an idiot like me, you’ll swear you’ve never heard Cole Porter’s "I Love You" before. Either that, or he paid good royalty money just to write his own stuff.

But if you’re like me and you like just too many things–and if one of them happens to include the kind of flute jazz that makes you mad at your parents that they didn’t have you in the early ’50s so you could enjoy the late ’60s–then, get this album. It’s fun. It hits the mark, even if the range isn’t all it could be. But then, what’s a better compliment than "fun"?– Ben Ohmart

production notes

Matt Eakle, flute, bass flute; Davis Ramey, guitar; Harvie Swartz, bass. Produced by David Grisman and Matt Eakle.

song titles

Gran’s Blues • A Secret Love • Love in Provence • A Simple Matter • Memories of Tomorrow • Troubled Thoughts • Like Someone in Love • Pra Dizer Adeus • Flute Jazz • Speak Low • My Flower • I Love You • Monk Asks Billy For a Smoke

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.