Jonathan Horwich continues to select out of the way little masterpieces for well executed reissues on his label International Phonograph. This time around it’s Jeremy Steig’s first album Flute Fever featuring Denny Zeitlin on piano just before Zeitlin’s first Columbia release. With Ben Riley on drums and Ben Tucker on base, Steig plays a number of well known Miles Davis, Rollins and Monk compositions along with a couple of standards. He opens with an absolutely smoking version of ‘Oleo’, and then as your heart beat drops back to normal he follows up with one of the best instrumental versions of ‘Lover Man’ on record.
The mostly full tilt blowing session will keep you on the edge of your seat for 53 minutes. Steig’s amazing flute playing is all the more remarkable when you consider that he had a motorcycle accident a year before recording the album that left half his face paralyzed and he constructed an insert for his mouth so that he could play the flute through his handicap. Horwich has done an excellent job of remastering this music for CD. Indeed, the sound is so good that after So What, I got up from my chair to turn the record over, only to realize I was listening to a CD. Highly recommended.