Jazz flautist Mark Weinstein is best known for his extensive body of work in the Latin jazz genre, which has always been an essential element of his music once stating “My music is rooted in deep Cuban folkloric traditions.” This latest release breaks with that tradition vigorously demonstrating his more than capable chops with straight ahead bebop jazz. Weinstein lays the foundation for an impressive musical portrait by assembling a canvas of all-star musicians including guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis.
Together Weinstein’s quartet paint a picture of contemporary bebop music providing new and interesting interpretations to jazz classics such as, of course, Thelonious Monk’s signature tune, “Straight No Chaser,” the Sonny Rollins standard, “Airegin” and Wayne Shorter’s “Miyako.” Adding to the unique approach of the album is the fact that the music relies totally on a rhythm section void of the piano and eschews the horns leaving Weinstein and Stryker in lead roles. Stryker does a marvelous job especially on the bluesy “Blues For Janice,” and on his originals “Shanti” and “Crianza.”
This is however, Weinstein’s show and he proceeds to put on a superb performance right from the opening “Loverin'” track where he delivers a furious solo and continues throughout the album playing soprano, alto and bass flute. Other noteworthy contributions here include the Kaper %26 Webster standard, “Invitation,” and the Matt Dennis chart “Violets For Your Furs.” Kudos to Mark Weinstein for “Straight No Chaser” is another winner of a recording sure to attract more critical acclaim for a jazz legend in the making, if he’s not considered one yet.