Alexander Zonjic,
Seldom Blues
(Heads Up, 2004)

If there is a smooth jazz mafia, flautist Alexander Zonjic is close to the godfathers. Smooth kings Bob James (keyboards and programming) and Kirk Whalum (tenor sax) appear here, as well as other members of the Whalum family, Kyle on bass and Kevin on vocals. Other well-known artists on the CD are Earl Klugh and Peter White on guitar, Angela Bofill on vocals on "Under the Moon & Over the Sky," and Jeff Lorber, who produced Seldom Blues and contributes on keyboards, percussion and vocals.

The flute fits well into the smooth jazz sound, perhaps too well in this case. The rough edges are rounded off, and although Zonjic varies his playing a bit throughout the 10 tracks, he stays close to the melody. Kevin Whalum does a good job on vocals covering War's "Spill the Wine," although the arrangement does not stray far from the original. The title track also has vocals, but the lyrics are so trite, it is nearly unlistenable.

Nothing else really stands out here. The melodies are all pleasant but forgettable. The beats vary, which is usually the case on flute CDs, but nearly all of them are programmed and pushed to the background. Drummers are credited on only two cuts.

Fans of smooth jazz and flute should like this CD; other listeners will probably not find much that is interesting.

by Dave Howell
27 January 2007

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