Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.
I’ve always found something particularly special about funk and jazz music that is driven by flute melodies. The timbre seems to bring out a new dimension of musicality and has been the driving force for many of my favourite grooves AND samples. Previously we have featured flautist Harold Alexander and plan on featuring Herbie Mann soon, but this week our focus is the flute legend Hubert Laws.
The man Laws is really a giant in the jazz flute spectrum and easily the most recognized flute player alongside Herbie Mann. Listing his recording history is as daunting as if David had fought Mecha Godzilla instead of Goliath. He attended esteemed Julliard school of music and form the 60s onward was a major force in recording albums as band leader and as part of many other groups. He is still active today and in fact, he was involved in a grammy nominated children’s album called JumpinJazz Kids!
Along with 30 odd records as leader, he also played on classic albums with the likes of Chet Baker, George Benson, Chick Corea, Astrud Gilberto, Bobby Hutcherson, Quincy Jones, Airto Moreira, Gabor Szabo, Lalo Schifrin, Mongo Santamaria, and still even more! His achievements for jazz and groove based music are simply astounding. Get any record from the 60s or 70s involving Mr. Laws and your are pretty much guaranteed to find some deliciously tasty ear candy.
Being so prolific in the world of jazz, of course he has been sampled quite extensively in hip hop music. The song in particular we’d like to highlight is “Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again” from the 1976 Columbia Records album Romeo & Juliet. The song has many sample worthy parts and has been flipped a variety of ways by the likes of Prefuse 73, Rass Kass, Dela, Jazz Liberatorz, and others. Enjoy the sample and some of the flips below.