By Kabir Sehgal
Treblemaker is an album full of life and humor – as is evidenced not only by the album title pun, but also by the introductory track. Flautist and singer Ragan Whiteside does an impeccable job of infusing her own unique voice into these tracks in her fourth studio album. A seasoned musician and award winning performer, Whiteside’s latest album adds breadth and depth to her variety and style as an artist. A mainstay of contemporary jazz, Whiteside allows for some much-needed freshness in the genre. This is a well-done album through and through!
by Jonathan Widran, SmoothJazz.com
With the release of her creatively named fourth album TREBLEMAKER, endlessly inventive flutist Ragan Whiteside continues to bring to contemporary urban jazz the kind of ultra-funky, richly improvisational vibes that greats like Najee and the late Dave Valentin did back in the genre’s early days. With her whimsical flute leading the way, she delivers a sizzling mix of infectious ballads, mystical mid-tempo cool and spirited dance romps with an all-star guest list that includes saxophonists Kim Waters and Marion Meadows, trumpeter Tom Browne, and keyboardists Frank McComb and Bob Baldwin. It’s called TREBLEMAKER, but you’ll want to turn up the bass to get fully into the groove!
By Hans-Bernd Hülsmann, www.smooth-jazz.de
Ragan Whiteside is not just a flutist. Her absolute and impressive command of the instrument is controlled by the powerfulness and superabundance of her soul. Her soul power is reflected in her expressiveness.
Treblemaker (2017) is her fourth album after Class Axe (2007), Evolve (2012) and Quantum Drive (2014).
When you measure the importance of an album to the names of the musicians involved, this one can be classified very high on the musical scale. Keyboardists Bob Baldwin, Phil Casagrande and Dennis Johnson, saxophonists Kim Waters, Marion Meadows and Travis Kimber, guitarist Derek Scott, drummers Richard Harrison and Jorel “JFly” Flynn, trumpet players Tom Browne and Nelson Render, trombonist Marvin Pryor, bassist Ron Jenkins, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Frank McComb and vocalist May Rose are guests on selected tracks.
May 20, 2017 – Flautist Ragan Whiteside’s star continues to shine brightly with this latest release Treblemaker. Hers is always a refreshing, lilting, and sweet sound, giving life to each and every note on each and every track.
Treblemaker features some smooth jazz heavyweights who’ve clearly left their fingerprints all over the genre: saxmen/composers Kim Waters and Marion Meadows, keyboardist/composer Bob Baldwin, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Frank McComb. Together with several other fine musicians, they make this production a full-bodied adventure into the bright world of Whiteside’s brand of flute jazz.
Transform Your Guitar Licks with Some Inspiration from a Flutist!
Savvy guitarists are always looking for melodic inspiration from sources other than guitar players. So anyone who digs beautiful jazz motifs and soaring single-note lines should check out the brand-new album by flutist — and Guitar Player‘s awesome web manager — Ragan Whiteside.
Read more at guitarplayer.com
by Hans-Bernd Hülsman, smooth-jazz.de
Ragan Whiteside is best known to the smooth jazz community by her albums Class Axe (2007) and Evolve (2012). Now she takes off with her new album Quantum Drive (2014) in warp speed.
The album features on selected tracks Bob Baldwin, Althea Rene, Bo Valentine, Patrice Rushen, Dennis Johnson and Frank McComb. This is the first album she made after her move from New York to Georgia. Releasing albums on her own label gives Ragan the artistic freedom to express herself in her music. Nevertheless it’s the right music people can enjoy.
On the Latin tinged Valentin Dream Ragan takes the lead on flute in full flow. Seamlessly integrated follows an extensive solo of master of all keys Bob Baldwin. Patrice Rushen recorded in 1982 Straight From The Heart with the oft-sampled Remind Me. Ragan interprets the song as flutist and vocalist featuring Patrice Rushen in a keyboard solo. Of course, everything sounds better.
Wonderfully fluent Indrani presents the musical symbiosis of flute and piano. On Smokey Room Ragan plays in a magic duet with keyboardist Frank McComb. Baldwin and Johnson share the performance on additional keys. Work It Out is a powerful song that showcases the singer Ragan and also includes a rap passage of Bo Valentine.
Soul Biscuit takes a look back into the past of the Motown sound. Like The First Time is a romantic ballad, reminiscent of those enchanting moments of the first date. Wing and Prayer is a peculiarity, since Ragan Whiteside and Althea René play together in a flute duet. Both are similar in the way of playing and the melody is just made for them. If softness has a name, it’s Gentle Touch. Insightful and stirring. The climax of the album is definitely to find at the end with Quantum Drive. An up-tempo tour de force of Ragan on flute and Bob on keys.
Ragan Whiteside creates with Quantum Drive an enchanting and vibrant album, which can defy any competition with other flutists of smooth jazz. Respect for such a development.
BY DENIS POOLE
June 28, 2014
Smooth Jazz Therapy has admired the music of the wonderfully soulful Ragan Whiteside since 2007 and the release of the highly acclaimed ‘Class Axe’. Not only did it mark her out as a leading exponent the smooth jazz flute but also glistened with production touches from Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson. This collaboration was again on sensational show for Ragan’s 2012 project ‘Evolve’ and has carried on to her brand new CD ‘Quantum Drive’. Not only that, with an all-star roster featuring Baldwin, Patrice Rushen, Frank McComb and Althea René, this is a collection that merits closer scrutiny and which has already been described as soulful, daring, sultry and edgy. Keep Reading →
BY HANS-BERND HÜLSMANN
When beauty and musical talent come together in a compelling symbiosis, then Ragan Whiteside’s flute is the herald of this glorious message. Her Bachelor of Music-Performance and the gain of the Capital Jazz New Artist Competition are signs for things to come. Keep Reading →
BY JOHN SHELTON IVANY
“evolve” is an astounding album by ragan whiteside. the band is superb, but
the real hero is ragan herself, when she gives the emotional punch using
her angelic voice on every chorus and verse. like much of the album, it’s
ornate, idiosyncratic and bittersweet all at once. as bruce springsteen once
sang “she’s all that heaven will allow.”