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Three Minute Jazz by John Devitt

Here is something interesting from an unusual artist. An Irish born flautist presently living in the Netherlands, John Devitt has studied at The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, and the Rotterdam Conservatory. He has continued to add eclecticism to his background, working in jazz and jazz-rock groups, classical flute quartets, and contemporary Dutch music with the Blauwdruk Ensemble. He recently participated in a multi-media work with Christopher Hedge and the Magnetic Poets at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, details of which you can reach through Devitt's website.

Three Minute Jazz is the result of the work he has been doing recently with computer based programs and sound loops to create frameworks for improvisation. This sounds like it could be a lot of bleeping and clicking, but Devitt has avoided this to create a series of interesting grooves that are well described by the titles, "Hip Hop," "Electro Lounge," "Fast Beat," etc. He has then laid flute improvisations over the top and recorded the results at his own studio, where he functions as producer and sound technician The results are interesting, musically and technically. The flute work is nicely crafted and boppish enough to interest jazz lovers. The backgrounds work consistently with the sound of the flute which is itself modified with overdubs, synth. sounds, and what sounds like the use of alto and/or bass instruments. The technical accomplishment is a tribute to what one man can do in a studio, or these days, in a garage with a laptop!

Apart from the music production, the CD is marketed by -you guessed it!- John Devitt, through his website, where you can also hear some sample clips. The site is also worth visiting if you are a flautist who would like to download some transcriptions from the late British (actually Jamaican) jazz flautist, Harold McNair. (More about Harold in my forthcoming book, The Flute in Jazz.

Is this the wave of the future? Are publishers and record labels becoming dinosaurs like the phone companies? If so, people like John Devitt are leading the trend -- he deserves your support!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John Devitt
  • CD Title: Three Minute Jazz
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Overloop Music
  • Tracks: Electro Lounge op.1, Hip Hop op.1, Hip Hop op.2, Hip Hop op.3, Electro Lounge op.2, Hip Hop op.4, Fast Beat op.1, Tribal op.1, Electro Lounge op.3
  • Musicians: John Devitt (flutes, keyboardss, percussion, composition, arrangements, production, etc...)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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