Following up on his Three Flutes Up, Chip Shelton graduates to four members of the large flute family, each one pitched higher or lower than the other. Using a variety of these long wind instruments makes for an interesting session which otherwise might be less so because of the limitations of the flute as a major jazz instrument. Generally, it is a second choice for jazz players, primarily saxophonists, with some notable exceptions like Hubert Laws. Shelton even went through several instruments before settling on the flute, majoring in it at the Manhattan School of Music. He manages very nicely on this album for two reasons (in addition to being basically a sound player). First, the music he's selected to play fits very nicely with the swaying rhythms of the flute, including three of his originals. His material shows the benefits of writing with the instrument specifically in mind, especially on his "Flashback." Second, he gets a lot of help from the good jazz players he brought along to the session, especially a real dazzler on piano, Roy Meriwether. Ryo Kawasaki on guitar also makes significant contributions with his extemporizations as on the standard "Invitation" which is thoroughly dissected by the group as they continually bounce ideas off each other on how to twist and turn the melody line. This tune is specially susceptible to the breeziness expressed by Shelton's flute. These two help Shelton capture the mood in the jazz classic "Lester Leaps In," which is not an easy tune for a flute. But it fits very nicely on "We'll Be Together Again" done with a Latin beat. The result of the excellent efforts of everyone concerned is a session of well-burnished jazz and is recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan