(1) The Jazz Flute Playing of David Williams. , On the web -- http://www.williamsflutes.com/index.html.
Many of us know David Williams as a maker of the highest level of handcrafted flutes. Like many of the best custom flute makers, he is not only a great craftsman, but also a fine performer as well. His website generously provides links to his recordings of both jazz standards and his original compositions performed with Terje Gewelt on upright Bass, and David Williams on Flute/Lexicon. A bit farther afield are Williams's improvisations that accompany R. Bartkowech reading his poetry and short stories.
I can't remember when I have been as excited by a first hearing of a newly found artist. Williams is a "monster" jazz player, who is adept in ballads, straight-ahead bebop, and free improvisations that soar and sing with an intensity and clarity that is simply amazing. (Think: the liquid and fleet sound of Hubert Laws combined with the ferocity and drive of Lew Tabakin and the risk taking of Robert Dick all in one package.) His technique is dazzling, his tone by turn intense and ravishingly sensual, and his skill at manipulating on-the-fly electronic sound processing, such as digital delay, harmonizers, and all the electronic resources of the Lexicon is astonishing. More importantly, all this skill is used in the service of creativity and expression.
I strongly urge you to give these audio clips a listen, and to encourage David to make these recordings available commercially. you can hear samples of this brilliant work via Real Audio and MP3 files available at http://www.williamsflutes.com/index.html. (My only reservation in spreading the word of this great flute playing talent is that wider recognition and success might distract him from his flute making craft…). (JEP)
(2)A new CD by Bart Feller: "Elysian Fields". Available at: www.bartfeller.com, or Flute World.
I have been eager to hear more of Bart Feller's solo playing ever since hearing his fine performance in a radio broadcast of the New Jersey Symphony, where he is principal flutist. This privately produced CD convinces me even more of his artistry and mastery of the flute. The selections on this disk range from the standard repertoire (Eldon Burton's Sonatina, Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Martinu's Trio for flute, cello, and piano, CPE Bach's Sonata in a minor for flute and harpsichord, Paul Taffanel's Fantasie on Der Freishutz, Franz Doppler's Mazurka de Salon, Op. 16) to the less well known (first recordings of Robert Maggio's eloquent Elysian Fields, and Stanley Friedman's dazzling Freelance Dance for flute and harpsichord). Feller's interpretations are clear and expressive, and his tone has great variety, character, and individuality. His technique is sure-fingered and his articulation is clean and incisive. A welcome addition to anyone's library. (JEP)