In this edition, we share our picks for albums to warm your holidays and delight the flute fans on
your list. From peaceful themes to lively improvisations, these are sweet sounds -- all by flutists who hail from the
An American Classic
The uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving reminds us how grateful we are for Alexandra
Hawley's stunning album with guitarist Jeffrey McFadden, American Classics - Cantos Desiertos (Naxos, 2003). In addition to
Bay Area composer Terry Riley's Cantos Desiertos, the CD includes four of Robert Beaser's Mountain Songs, plus
works by Lowell Liebermann, Joan Tower and Peter Schickele.
Beaser's lyrical pieces built
on Appalachian melodies,
and Riley's rich themes based in Mexican folk music,
evoke two important streams of American
culture and traditiions. Hawley and McFadden perform the works exquisitely, with every phrase sensitively interpreted,
and flute and guitar beautifully in balance. This album leaves us wanting only one thing from this masterful
duo -- an encore.
For Five Flutes:
No. 3 - I. Allegro
John Calloway - Diaspora
Django/Afternoon in Paris
Coolest On Our Yule List
A Lovely Day for Christmas
Pre-eminent, Baroque flutist Stephen Schultz ushers in the season with an impressive tour de force -- an
album of Boismortier Concertos for Five Flutes on which, through overdubbing, he performs all five parts. If you are
seeking harmonious perfection, you will find it here, thanks to Schultz' sublime, unwaivering virtuosity.
The CD, on the Dorian label, has launched just in time for the holidays. We suggest
you "gift" it to yourself, as well as to friends who deserve respite from hectic, holiday preparations.
Traditional holiday music not for you? Try our alternate prescription for an end-of-year
Last year, John Calloway and friends launched his latest collection,The Code (Bombo Music Productions), before a hugely enthusiastic, packed house at Yoshi's. As Dave Valentin says
of this album, "put your seat belts on and get ready for the ride of your life."
to Calloway go head to head in improvisation with Cuba's premier flutist, Orlando Valle, and we know you will concur -- which
is not to say this album lacks gentle moments. Calloway's arrangement of the traditional lullaby Mockingbird (Hush Little
Baby), which he dedicates to his children, is as tender as any version we know.
Tim Day's and Sonos Handbell Ensemble's
A Very Classical Christmas (Well Tempered Productions) includes
favorites from Handel's Messiah and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, plus works by Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart. Day, the San
Francisco Symphony's renowned principal flute, is featured on half of the album's 18 tracks. Particularly elegant are his
performances of Bach's Badinerie and the second movement from Vivaldi's Winter. This album, which has been reissued
since its original release in 2001, is a delightful, holiday treat for flute fans -- and does anything else say
"Christmas" quite like handbells?
A Very Classical Christmas:
Bach: Ste. No. 2 - Badinerie
Beaser, Mountain Songs:
He's Gone Away
Riley, Cantos Desiertos:
Francesco en Paraiso
Shop our Amazon
store for recordings
by artists in this
worthy FBA projects,
John Calloway - The Code
Descarga Pa' Dos Flautas
(Calloway and Valle Improv.)
We also still savor Calloway's earlier CD, Diaspora (Bombo, 2003), recorded with friends
John Santos, Omar Sosa, Rebecca Mauleon, Jesus Diaz, and Orestes Vilato, among others. Both of these albums reflect
the very wide-ranging influences that have shaped John Calloway into such an exciting multi-instrumentalist (flute,
piano, percussion) and composer -- not to mention a West Coast icon of cool.
Congratulations, John Calloway!
...on bring nominated for
Latin Jazz Corner's
Best Latin Flute 2008
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