Bebop flute

Heard a track on Chuck Sher’s Jazz Radio show tonight that had a strong flute solo. Turns out it was Bob Sheppard, so no surprise there as to why the flute player sounded like he knew what he was doing. Bob is as good as it gets on sax and he’s no slouch on the flute either. Like most doublers, the ideas that come from guys like Bob on the flute might just as well be what they would play if they had a sax on their hands. The influence of Bird, Trane and all the other jazz giants they’ve absorbed (not to mention the hundreds, if not thousands of hours playing!) is what strikes me most about the doublers. They don’t sound like classically trained flutists at all. Generally the tone is not as focused, and the use of vibrato is minimal. Ideas and groove is where it’s at.

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