Steve Flowers - Play
evident that Jazz flutist Steve Flowers has no intention on being lost
in the shadows of jazz musicians in the Windy City. After all Steve
has “dazzled audiences by performing with the talents of
international contemporaries like Alex Bugnon, Bobby “Blue” Bland,
Koko Taylor, After 7, Take 6, Regina Bell, B. B. King, Bernie Mack,
Vicki Winans and the late Phyllis Hyman”.
With a Masters degree in Flute performances, we now understand
why Mr. Flower is in high demand in the Mid-West and the Windy City.
Chicagoan Steve Flower serves
up a tasty array of catchy tunes on his debut titled “Play Time”
which is dedicated too his family and especially to his daughter
Jasmine. Steve pens 7 of the 9 songs on “Play Time”.
The opener “What If It
Happens” speaks volumes with modesty and the right twist of groovy
melodies accented by Flowers flute stylings. This tune provides real
instrumentation with a dash of first class musicianship offering a
superb alternative too smooth jazz.
“It’s All In Your Mind”
comes in at the second position with bassist Vance Oglesby taking the
plunge with his resonating bass licks accented by Steve’s fluid
approach complimented by Ray Bozeman’s keyboard wizardry making this
tune a delicious second serving.
Cover songs often find their
way onto projects these days and flutist Steve Flower is no exception
however, his rendition of Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo” dazzles you
with his precise delivery with moderate intensity laced with a fabric
of funky flavorings making this cover worth listening too.
“Non-Commit”, this track
reminds me of the 70’s contemporary jazz with underlying hooks and
harmonies with etchings of backing vocals provided by Jackie Rivera
and Jeff Garland and Ray Bozeman’s keyboard odyssey.
Steve’s knack for playful
compositions is evident with the title cut “Play Time” which is
dedicated to her daughter Jasmine.
“Play Time” draws from the intimacy of a Fathers love for
his child well co-existing with the elements of his classical training
creating a melting pot of wistful jazz artistry in this trio setting.
Keyboardist Kirk Brown and bassist Chuck Webb help make this tune a
“Alone Again” (Naturally)
by Gilbert Sullivan was a hit back in 1972; ironically, this was
Sullivan’s first hit in America. Obviously, this tune appeals too
Steve but it doesn’t add much to the flow of the cd.
Steve skillfully demonstrates
his song writing ability with my personal favorite on Play Time titled
“Lost In Love”. Steve utilizes the talents of his supporting cast
eloquently. “Lost In Love” floats in a dream like state whispering
examples of Flowers flute soaring with familiar melodies gently
revealing another distinctive moment on Play Time.
“Sweet Box” falls into the
8 slot as Steve continues probe the scope of jazz with yet another
tight trio set. This track isn’t for the rhythmically challenged,
Steve flute bounces with excitement trading solos, keeping time with
rhyme & reason holding no captives inside the “Sweet Box”.
The alluring final track
titled “True Blessing” is another self-penned piece by Steve
Flowers. This illusive heartfelt composition will indeed draw you into
this intricate listening experience called “Play Time”.
I can imagine that this recording will not be for everyone
however, in the mist of smooth music, there’s a hidden jewel that
awaits the listener it’s called “Play Time” written and produced
by flutist Steve Flowers.