Flugge’s compositions are wide ranging and there is seemingly something for everyone on February’s Promise. The pieces range from high-energy mode based tunes such as the CD’s opener "Time’s Horizon," with Flugge’s piano technique hinting at influences of Chick Corea. Flugge also has written beautiful ballads such as "The Borderland" and "The Letter." Also the very pretty "Autumn’s Waltz," suggests that Flugge has more than only casual familiarity with the music of pianist Bill Evans. There is also a fun, loose-swinging bluesy number "Drivin’ the Bus," that brings to mind the funky hard bop of the 1950’s and 60’s. Flugge even pays tribute to his house pet with the tune "Beatrice, The Cat."
Flugge has some very capable assistance on this CD. In addition to the great groove provided by the rhythm section there is superb soloing by bassist Doug Richeson. The horn players on the CD also shine. Both Randy Mather on tenor saxophone and Kim Pensyl on trumpet and flugelhorn improvise profound and intellectually provocative musical statements. Also not to be overlooked is the tasteful drumming of Dave Weinstock who provides just the right amount of drive for the band, and the work of bassist Dave Dewitt and drummer Dane Richeson who each recorded on one track.
Mark Flugge has produced a CD of excellent quality. February’s Promise is a pleasure to listen to. It is a highly recommended addition to any jazz fan’s collection.