Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Hubert Laws on CTI Records – a mighty great thing, as you'll hear on these three vintage albums for the label! First up is Crying Song, a landmark record – the first album that flutist Hubert Laws cut for CTI, and the beginning of a very important partnership with the label! The record is a sublime exploration of sound and space – very different than Laws' 60s Latin sides for Atlantic, and handled in a baroque mode that has his flute drifting over a mixture of organ, piano, and rhythms augmented with strings – easy and jazzy in the same moment, with a hip sophistication that points the way towards a new flute sound in the 70s! Titles include "Crying Song", "Listen To The Band", "Cymbaline", "Feelin Alright", "I've Gotta Get A Message To You", "La Jean", "Love Is Blue/Sing A Rainbow", and "How Long Will It Be". 

Afro Classic is an amazing album – and the cornerstone of the CTI sound! The record's an incredibly baroque set of tracks from funky flautist Hubert Laws – featuring arrangements from Don Sebesky that mix complicated lines on flute with electric piano from Bob James, into a swirling mass of sound that's warm, soulful, and fuzzy. The record's incredibly hip – and even on material like "Theme From Love Story", "Fire & Rain", and "Passacaglia In C Minor", Laws and the group soar away into another plane of being! Jazz flute and CTI were never the same after this album! 

Rite Of Spring is a groundbreaking record from flautist Hubert Laws – a mixture of classical themes and jazz, handled with an airy CTI approach – and set to arrangements by Don Sebesky that are simply mindblowing! The album's a wonderful example of the way that CTI really pushed the boundaries of instrumental expression in the 70s – taking Laws wonderfully breathy work on flute, and mixing it with some well-crafted backings that also feature electric piano by Bob James, bass by Ron Carter, and percussion by Airto and Jack DeJohnette. The larger group is handled by Sebesky, who really brings some magic to the record – a sense of sound, space, and timing that's still a heck of a lot more mature and sophisticated than most instrumental recordings coming out today! Titles include "Syrinx", "Rite Of Spring", "Brandenburg Concerto No 3", and "Pavane". ~ Dusty Groove

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