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Minor Miracle by Holly Hoffman Quartet

Holly Hoffman is part of a very small minority in jazz. I don't mean that she is a female instrumentalist; though they are still outnumbered by the men, the number of distinguished women in jazz is nonetheless a plentiful one. I'm thinking of her as a flautist; while the likes of Yusef Lateef, James Moody and Roland Kirk have all made memorable music with the instrument, each of those musicians is primarily known for playing the saxophone (or, in Rahsaan's case, several). The list of flute specialists is much smaller, including Hubert Laws, Sam Most, Herbie Mann and really a handful of others. As Minor Miracle makes clear once again, Holly Hoffman certainly deserves to be numbered in that company.

The Holly Hoffman Quartet is rounded out by a fine rhythm section of pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Victor Lewis. The group touches on a nice variety of jazz styles, including a lovely take of Jobim's "Samba Do Aviao" and a take of Ray Bryant's "Tonk" that reveals the conservatory-trained Hoffman's keen feel for the blues. Ray Brown's "CRS-Craft" puts a well-deserved spotlight on the talented Washington.

Minor Miracle has been receiving a lot of airplay on KKJZ, the local jazz station here in Long Beach. Deservedly so; the band plays well together and Hoffman has a fine tone on what in her hands seems an all-too-rare instrument. The combined effect is of music that sounds simultaneously classic and unique.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Holly Hoffman Quartet
  • CD Title: Minor Miracle
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Capri Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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