CD: Jeremy Steig, Featuring Denny Zeitlin

Jeremy Steig, Flute Fever (International Phonograph)

Flute Fever coverThe Rifftides campaign for a reissue of the 1963 debut recording of flutist Jeremy Steig and pianist Denny Zeitlin got underway with this observation in a 2005 post:

On Sonny Rollins’s “Oleo,” each of them solos with ferocious thrust, chutzpah, swing and—one of the most challenging accomplishments in jazz—a feeling of delirious freedom within the discipline of a harmonic structure.

Fifty years after it appeared, Flute Fever remains one of the finest albums of the second half of the twentieth century, regardless of genre. At last, it is a CD, but Columbia ceded the honor to someone else. Kudos to Jonathan Horwich and International Phonograph. The reproduction of sound, packaging and artwork is flawless. This is a basic repertoire item.

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    • Terence Smith says

      Bill McBirnie, I just had the pleasure of hearing you do (Gigi Gryce’s) “Minority” from your new album, via Cerra’s JAZZ PROFILES site.

      Your trio seems to have kindred spirit with Steig and Zeitlin. And Sam Most, too.

        • Terence Smith says

          Bill McBirnie, Your “Willow Weep” is Gospel and your flute sound is so beautiful. At about 1:20, Jeremy Steig seems physically present. You are adding to the deep well of the vocal flute music. And I bet it’s the oldest melody instrument voice.

          Later today I am going to hear Herbie Mann’s mystical version of “Willow” on Nirvana with the Bill Evans Trio, along with the mysticism of the “Gymnopedie” and other numbers. As you know, that 1962 session is a unique mood so few seem to have heard.

          I am glad you do what you do, Bill. Don’t you wish someone had recorded all the times that Jeremy Steig “late in 1968…lived in the Village and sat in for frequent late sets with Evans’ trio at the Vanguard and the Top of the Gate..” (Pettinger, How My Heart Sings). But we have the What’s New studio album from soon after. Which, for logical delirium, is in a league with Flute Fever.

          Cheers and thanks to Bill McBirnie.

  1. Jeffrey H. Mulvey says

    Recordings that Sony has the rights to can be suggested for download at this website:
    Since regular CDs seem to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past, this might be a way to get this recording back into more general circulation.

  2. Terence Smith says

    Overdue and welcome news of the highest order.

    Absolutely no exaggeration in Doug’s description of this perfect album.

    I lost the LP long ago, and now can all the more appreciate this music which transcends datedness
    or categorization.