Anne Drummond – Like Water

Anne Drummond
Like Water
ObliqSound – 2009

As a female jazz flutist, Anne Drummond is a rarity among rarities. Although the instrument has been utilized in jazz for several decades, it has never been as ubiquitous as the saxophone, trumpet or trombone, and virtually every acknowledged master has been male. That all changes with the September 15″ arrival of Like Water [ObliqSound], the debut recording from the artist recently named a Rising Star by Downbeat magazine and featured in a cover story in Flute Talk magazine. Among her greatest admirers is one massively famous flutist, Ian Anderson of the rock band Jethro Tull, who sought Drummond out and invited her to join him on stage.

As its title implies, Like Water is marked by a fluidity that is itself rare. Exploring the sensual, evocative sounds and intoxicating rhythms of Brazil, and accompanied by a small band of virtuosos – Klaus Mueller and Xavier Davis (piano), Paul Meyers (guitar), Nilson Matta (bass), Duduka da Fonseca (drums), Tom Chiu (violin) and Dave Eggar (cello) – Seattle native Drummond imbues Like Water’s eight alternately soothing and soaring tracks, both original compositions and carefully chosen interpretations, with uncommon spirit and grace.

Her artistry has previously enhanced the music of such jazz greats as vibraphonist Stefon Harris and bassist Avishai Cohen, but Like Water’s roots can be traced back several years to when the New York-based Drummond, along with Matta and da Fonseca, served as a member of pianist Kenny Barron’s group Canta Brasil. Drummond didn’t originally plan to return to Brazilian music for her first recording as a leader, instead crafting music intended for a chamber quartet. But after she began collaborating with Mueller, whose experience with Brazilian music is extensive, Drummond’s focus shifted toward South America. The chamber concept was tabled, although Drummond retained the notion of incorporating violin and cello into her new music. She began writing string arrangements for the album while touring with the indie rock band Bright Eyes. Then, while playing New York’s Town Hall with Norah Jones, Spoon and Lou Reed, she recorded this album. “It was a whirlwind,” Drummond said of the sessions.