Claude Bolling

Bolling: Suite No. 2 for flute & jazz piano trio

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A decade after his wildly successful Suite No. 1 had been adopted by classical flutists everywhere, the seemingly inexhaustible Bolling produced a sequel for flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal that, like many sequels, isn't quite as memorable as the original inspiration. At 51 minutes, the Second Suite is lengthier and more sophisticated than the First -- it's one of Bolling's longest suites, period -- but there aren't very many new ideas that grab the ear. Occasionally, as in "Entr'Amis," an old idea from the First Suite is reworked, and there are allusions to George Shearing, Bud Powell, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, etc. Bolling and his rhythm section (Pierre-Yves Sorin, bass; Vincent Cordelette, drums) continue to play both idioms against each other with facility and ease. Rampal treats the music with loving care, even lining up with Bolling's right hand with remarkable precision in the rapid unison theme for "Jazzy" and tossing off a simulated improvisation and "trading" fours with Claude later in that movement. Overall, though, this may be one suite too many for the Bolling classical/jazz juggernaut.

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