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Teazing Socrates by Nika Rejto

Flutist and sometime vocalist Nika Rejto has been performing in the San Francisco Bay area for more than two decades, issuing her first recording in 1984. The daughter of a cellist and classically trained herself, she adds an original voice to the rather thin ranks of jazz flutists. In her new recording (her sixth if I am counting correctly) she demonstrates her warm tone, smooth technique and original approach to selecting material. The result is a pleasing album with a few surprises along the way.

Three thousand miles from New York, and several hundred from L.A., Nika is well isolated from currents fads and so she follows her own muse. This allows her to exercise her sense of whimsy by juxtaposing jazz standards, some of her own originals, and quasi classical renditions of Piazzolla and Telemann. To add to the variety, she mixes up the instrumental combinations: "Telemann" is for solo flute, "Café 1930" for flute and guitar, "Stardust" a flute/piano duo, "Twisted" features flute with octave divider, and several tracks are for overdubbed flutes, with and without accompaniment.

The incongruities stood out on first listening but after further listening it does hang together. Rejto is perhaps at her best on the ballads and the classical pieces-the Piazzolla is particularly appealing. The least successful tracks are, for me, the vocals; I would have preferred to hear more of Rejto's flute playing. A small gripe; overall, Nika Rejto goes her own way which is always something to admire. Available from CD Baby.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nika Rejto
  • CD Title: Teazing Socrates
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Unika Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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