"The prevalence of the flute in world music and the richness of its expressive capabilities, give hope to flutists who want to use the instrument to make a contribution to jazz. . The future for flute is to draw broadly from world genres, especially Latin American, African and Indian music, a direction increasingly evident among jazz musicians as world music--based jazz proves both a way to move beyond the epochal contributions of the Ãƒï¿½Ã¯Â¿Â½Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¢Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¯Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¿Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â½Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¯Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¿Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â½50s and Ãƒï¿½Ã¯Â¿Â½Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¢Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¯Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¿Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â½Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¯Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â¿Ãƒï¿½Ã‚Â½60s, and path toward new sonic terrain. The acoustic context of much world music is flute-friendly. . . Flute is without equal in its ability to blend with the string and percussion instruments used in much world music, and permits the basis in world music to remain true to its sound and texture even when the flute adds jazz harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements extending the basic forms."
Weinstein's most recent release demonstrates his commitment to the flute in world music in his own work. And it was a big commitment. His previous sessions have drawn on the New York/New Jersey music community to find expert exponents of these various genres, from Cuba or Brazil for example, who have helped him assemble material and ensembles to record it. In this case, however, Weinstein went much further afield.
The full story of how this session came about can be read in a detailed blog that Weinstein has posted at his website. (See http://jazzfluteweinstein.blogspot.com.) Artists commenting on their work in this way is a really helpful idea--I think more artists should do this. To quote from these notes:
"The session was put together by guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly, a master musician and one of my all-time friends. . . Jean Paul was producing a concert in Berlin called the Black Atlantic, a week long festival of African based music from Europe, the US and other places. . . He mentioned that [Cuban pianist] Omar Sosa would be there and a number of African musicians including balafone virtuoso Ali Keita. Omar had recorded an album with me in 2001, Cuban Roots Revisited, and I knew he was originally a classically trained mallet player (vibes, marimba, tympani, the works) and so I had a brain-storm. Go to Berlin and make an album with vibes, marimba, balafone (an African marimba and the reason they play marimbas in Central and South America), African percussion and myself."
Weinstein acted on his brain-storm; the result is the music heard on this recording. Given the diversity of the musicians and the limited preparation time the results are remarkably successful. Weinstein describes the musicians as follows: "Me (a New York Jew), a Polish bass-player, three African musicians, Omar Sosa--a black Cuban, an African-American drummer, and Jean-Paul, of Haitian-American descent." As for the preparation: "We went into the studio with absolutely nothing, nothing planned, no music, not even a concept, and recorded two days of free-jazz based on African themes. It was amazing!"