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.”
BY DENIS POOLE
September 24, 2012
With a magical combination of neo soul and urban jazz, Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite and flautist extraordinaire Ragan Whiteside is back on the scene with her brand new project ‘Evolve’. It follows her 2007 recording ‘Class Axe’, which at the time I described as finding the sweet spot where contemporary jazz meets smooth R & B, and in common with this previous release benefits hugely from the input of Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson. Perfectly demonstrating the talents of Whiteside, not only as a sublime flute player, but also as a songwriter and vocalist, ‘Evolve’ is right up there with the best contemporary jazz albums of 2012. Keep Reading →
BY ROBERT CUNNINGHAM
NEWPORTER JAZZ / EXAMINER.COM
September 13, 2012
Listening to the ‘Evolve’ collection by Ragan Whiteside, one conjures an image of a newly discovered vinyl album locked away in a time capsule, being listened to for the first time since the 1970’s. Ragan Whiteside’s newest collection, ‘Evolve’ is that breezy feel good, feel free 1970’s style of fusion, jazz and funk music that mixes it up with modern day style neo soul and adult contemporary. Keep Reading →