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The sound of pure joy

Fresh Flute
By Steve Kujala

CBS Records: 1986

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This review first appeared in the March 5, 1986 issue of The Daily Aztec.

Take the exotic yet familiar sounds of the flute and recorder, and combine them with the accessibility of the sound of pop-fusion jazz, and you have an idea of how utterly joyful and relaxing Steve Kujala's debut solo effort, "Fresh Flute," is.

Kujala, who played for many years with fusion groundbreaker Chick Corea, has put out an album with a beautiful simplicity. The melody lines are uncomplicated and breezy, yet surprisingly original and fresh-sounding.

The music here brings on the feeling of a warm spring morning, full of the promise of new life. That sounds corny, true – but when you're listening to the album it all makes sense. It is a very contemporary sort of spring dance, combining African rhythms, American jazz and Medieval minstrel songs.

"Tutti Flutti" is one of the most addictive songs you'll ever hear. Kujala's layered melody line, plsyed on flute, piccolo and recorder, is gorgeous. The vocal and flute percussion add a kind of world beat ambience.

On "Nicole" (dedicated to his daughter), Kujala changes tack and presents a flowing, thematic piece with a melody of pure joy.