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Ragan Whiteside — Treblemaker

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.

There are many impressively solid tracks here, among them the high steppin’ “Corey’s Bop,” the airy “Early Arrival” featuring the always effective Kim Waters sax, the finger-snappin’ “Let’s Do This” featuring trumpeter Tom Browne, and the tender “I Never Told You” featuring Whiteside’s lovely vocals, and the appropriately titled “Flute Funk,” and the recognizably sensuous sax of Marion Meadow on “Love Song” (another appropriately titled track).

The flute is such an especially appealing instrument to me, bringing with it its own sparkling light and soothing texture, and Whiteside firmly embraces its musical majesty. Not having lost any quality whatsoever since I first witnessed her in concert years ago at the Capital Jazz Fest in Maryland, this flautist has etched her name into the “wall” of artists who have readily stepped up to receive the smooth jazz baton that will eventually be passed from the veterans and pioneers in the genre. As one of the true Pied Pipers of smooth jazz, she makes one thing perfectly clear: This classy lady is here to stay. – Ronald Jackson