Steve Flowers - Play Time

It’s 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 true delight. 

“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.