Review: Flutist Hubert Laws brings range to classic jazz

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hubert Laws showed over the weekend that he is a classic jazz flutist in more ways than one.

At his three-concert visit to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, North Side, he offered classic bits of jazz, such as Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere” and Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin.” But he also did his take on Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”

Whatever direction he went, Laws plays with remarkable discipline and ability, handling the flute with dexterity and crystalline clarity. He has not lost one bit of the technique that started to make him well-known in the mid-’60s.

Helping to create a full sound from the quintet were Pittsburgh native pianist David Budway and keyboardist Rob Mullens. The latter provided all sorts of electronic sounds without getting showy, so easy with those keyboards. He offered subtle voices of vibes and string harmonies while Budway provided intense work, also in the jazz and classical feeling.

Laws also was joined by a former student, Delandrea Mills, who is living in Baltimore, who performed with him on alto flute on the Timmons song.