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Crate Digger’s Gold: Hubert Laws – Wild Flower 

January 13, 2017

I picked this LP up at the Electric Fetus garage sale last year for 49 cents. I snatched it up,  because Hubert Laws is a jazz flutist. I played the flute as a kid and so I am a sucker for a great flutist. Per Wikipedia: “Laws is probably the most recognized and respected jazz flutist.”  I have several of his releases and all are good so I figured for a half a buck I can’t go wrong. A bonus: for a cheap used record this one is in remarkable condition.

Five of the six tunes here are highly arranged string pieces. Most of the time strings and jazz are the kiss of death. They typically are syrupy. But this string section is different – it is some how not syrupy. The strings actually sound good and make the album better vs. detracting from the album. It is like the strings are a sympathetic accompanist bordering on a sparring second soloist. The strings create the perfect net for Laws’ high wire act. Laws has the great gift of being able to both shred on the flute and sing sweetly.

The last song on the album is a major detour from the rest of the album. It is a much more conventional jazz combo (featuring Chic Corea and Gary Burton). When I looked at the back cover and saw that line up, I expected this to be a harsh add-on, but instead it is an appropriate cherry on top.

This is the whole point of crate digging: pick something on a whim and be amazed.

  1. It’s been a while since I have given this one a spin, I’m a fan of In The Beginning and The Laws of Jazz. Wild Flower never achieved high rotation for me but on the strength of this review I’m going to dig it out and have another listen with fresh ears.

  2. I’m going to check this out (listening to Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Life Flight’ while I do my catching up. Some nice guy turned me on to Spotify)..I’m a sucker for flue and I know you dig it. I have quite a bit of it in my pile. I was thinking of you when I was listening to Frank Wess (Opus in Swing) a while ago. If you don’t know him I think you’ll dig it.

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