From Denis Poole’s, SmoothJazzTherapy.com
Regular readers will know the penchant Smooth Jazz Therapy has for jazz flute and amongst the leading protagonists of underrated instrument there is none finer than flautist, vocalist, and songwriter Ragan Whiteside. Indeed, the infrequency with which the flute is heard only adds to its magic as a contemporary jazz instrument and in Whiteside’s skilled hands, its potential knows no bounds. Her 2007 CD ‘Class Axe’ was an absolute revelation and now she is back with the highly anticipated ‘Evolve’.
The first single from the album is the wonderfully zesty, ‘Off Kilter’ which features Chieli Minucci on guitar and has all the attributes necessary to bring back the flute back into mainstream focus.
Check back here soon for a complete review of ‘Evolve’.
Ragan Whiteside was in fact a discovery of keyboard player Bob Baldwin. Even before she had won the 2006 Capital Jazz Challenge, Whiteside (who hails from Mount Vernon, NY) had already caught his attention. She played flute on his 2004 recording ‘Brazil Chill’ and a year later Baldwin included her on his follow up, ‘All In A Day’s Work’. He wrote six of the fourteen tracks for the ‘Class Axe’ project and played keys throughout.