More What Flutes 4.....Live!
Following up on his Three Flutes Up, Chip Shelton graduates to four members of the large flute family, each one pitched higher or lower than the other. Using a variety of these long wind instruments makes for an interesting session which otherwise might be less so because of the limitations of the flute as a major jazz instrument. Generally, it is a second choice for jazz players, primarily saxophonists, with some notable exceptions like Hubert Laws. Shelton even went through several instruments before settling on the flute, majoring in it at the Manhattan School of Music. He manages very nicely on this album for two reasons (in addition to being basically a sound player). First, the music he's selected to play fits very nicely with the swaying rhythms of the flute, including three of his originals. His material shows the benefits of writing with the instrument specifically in mind, especially on his "Flashback." Second, he gets a lot of help from the good jazz players he brought along to the session, especially a real dazzler on piano, Roy Meriwether. Ryo Kawasaki on guitar also makes significant contributions with his extemporizations as on the standard "Invitation" which is thoroughly dissected by the group as they continually bounce ideas off each other on how to twist and turn the melody line. This tune is specially susceptible to the breeziness expressed by Shelton's flute. These two help Shelton capture the mood in the jazz classic "Lester Leaps In," which is not an easy tune for a flute. But it fits very nicely on "We'll Be Together Again" done with a Latin beat. The result of the excellent efforts of everyone concerned is a session of well-burnished jazz and is recommended. — Dave Nathan
1.Invitation (Kaper/Webster) - 9:23
2.Mister Magic (McDonald/Salter) - 7:39
3.More What Flutes 4 (Shelton) - 10:05
4.Augumentative (Shelton) - 5:52
5.Flashback (Shelton) - 6:26
6.Lester Leaps In (Young) - 7:54
7.We'll Be Together Again (Fischer/Laine) - 7:33
8.The Ghetto (Eaton/Hathaway/Hutson/Shaw) - 8:21
Ryo Kawasaki - Guitar, Producer, Mixing
Roy Meriwether - Piano
Bob Forman - Graphic Design
Tom McKenzie - Bass, Conga, Drums
Gregory Bufford - Drums
Chip Shelton - Flute, Alto & Bass Flute, Piccolo, Producer
Tom Brick - Mastering
Kenny Mead - Producer
Mike Parr - Vocals
Guilherme Franco - Percussion
Daoud David Williams - Percussion

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3 Flutes Up
Selecting a high-, medium-, or low-voiced flute for each selection, Clearance "Chip" Shelton changes timbres to suit the music. His ensemble, which has performed regularly in New York for five years, offers a variety of Jazz, R&B, and pop on Shelton's second recording as a leader. Although his vertical flute sounds the same as C flute, its outward appearance is rather unusual. The flute's mouth piece has been turned and remounted at the front end of the tube so that Shelton holds the instrument in the same fashion as a soprano saxophone to play it. The flutist emphasizes that similarity when he performs John Coltrane's "Transition" up-tempo and with passion. shelton switches during his tribute to Mal Waldron, "The Mal Man", and uses all three pairing bass flute with string bass, alto flute with piano, and C vertical flute with the guitar. There are no overdubs on the album. "Inspiration", "Dedication", and "Surrender" constitute Shelton's three-part suite that employs a different flute and consequent timbral change for each movement. The bass flute is as deep and emotional as an operatic contralto's aria, while the alto flute sits comfortably with lighter pop ballads. Two sambas spice up the program, while backbeats and lyrical vocals round out an album that features unique timbres wrapped up in the jazz tradition.— Jim Santella/Cadence November 1999

Chip Shelton is a master on and of the flute. What a remarkable and creative individual he is with the flute. In a crazy world where people have an inner itch to give some artist "star ratings" when all that is truly necessary is to honestly say this is the way it is in words, Chip Shelton must have a star rating of 100 stars after his work! Shelton like most jazz creators are beyond the need for stars in their crowns because they have their music and their instruments! "3 Flutes Up" is a great CD, one where the performer gives full range and credit to the flute in all of its magical approaches! There are 15 selections on this CD, and each is memorable. Nat Adderley's "Work Song" is included, along with Yusef Lateef's "Live Humble," and the enduring "Swinging Shepherd Blues." Chip Shelton performs on c-vertical, alto and bass flutes, Ryo Kawasaki on guitar, Onaje Allan Gumbs on piano, Tom McKenzie on bass, Greg Bufford on drums, Guilherme Franco on percussion, Daoud David Williams on percussion, Everald Brown on conga, George Grey on drums, Mike Parr on vocals, and pianist Donald Smith who also does the vocal on "Live Humble." Chip Shelton also performs some of his own compositions. Shelton is a remarkable performer and master of the flute. This CD would make a fine gift for a friend and to have in the home library. The selection, "Transition," written by John Coltrane is another pleasant surprise, among many, on this excellent jazz CD. 100 stars! — Lee Prosser/1999 Jazzreview.com

The point here is that mere listening 'Three Flutes Up' understate the point of the CD: You get involved with leader Chip Shelton and his stalwart group. You become part of his family. Whether it's three cherries or 'Three Flutes Up', it's jackpot!
Arnold Jay Smith

1.Swinging Shepherd Blues - 4:23
2.Flute Thing - 4:36
3.Flute Suite Pt. 1-Inspiration - 3:21
4.Flute Suite Pt. 2-Dedication - 1:52
5.Flute Suite Pt. 3-Surrender - 3:39
6.Is That Jazz? - 4:50
7.Transition - 6:48
8.Confirmation (Intro) - 1:58
9.Confirmation - 3:35
10.No Greater Love - 6:13
11.Work Song - 5:15
12.Someday We'll all be Free - 4:06
13.The Mal Man - 4:04
14.Mother/Son Love Endures - 2:45
15.Live Humble - 6:59
Onaje Allan Gumbs - Piano
Ryo Kawasaki - Guitar, Producer, Executive Producer, Mixing Engineer
Guilherme Franco - Percussion
Donald Smith - Piano, Vocals
Arnold Jay Smith - Liner Notes
Tom McKenzie - Bass
George Grey - Drums
Chip Shelton - Flute, Arranger, Flute (Alto), Flute (Bass), Leader, Co-Arranger
Agartha - Engineer
Tom Brick - Engineer, Mastering
R. Andrew Lepley - Photography
Dennis Woloch - Artwork, Graphic Design, Art Direction
Gregory Bufford - Drums
Lenny Argese - Engineer
Everald Brown - Conga
Kenny Mead - Arranger, Producer, Co-Arranger
Mike Parr - Vocals
Daoud David Williams - Percussion, Producer, Executive Producer

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A Labor Of Love
100% Beautiful Music, May 13, 1999 Reviewer: A music fan from New York, New York
I have been listening to this CD ever since it's release (1996) and I still love it to death! It premiers Chip Shelton playing his flute with a definite touch of bliss. Chip plays the flute all for the love of music and you can tell with each song and with each note. Pick up this album!

Flutist Chip Shelton puts the accent on percussion, bringing in three members from The Spirit of Life Ensemble (Greg Buford, Everald Brown, and Daoud David Williams) for this Labor of Love recorded live at New York's Five Spot. Utilizing a C vertical flute, Shelton pushes Eddie Harris' "Listen Here" with touches of vocal sounds blending with the instrument. On other tunes, such as "Body and Soul," Shelton reaches for the mellower tones of the bass flute. Shelton and company move through many rhythms from his own "Samba de Joy" to the funk beat of "Don't Hop Da Hip," though with three drummers, guitar, piano and bass, the flutist is occasionally over-powered on this, his debut disc. — Geraldine Wyckoff/JazzTimes January/February 1998 issue.

1.Samba De Joy - 5:10
2.Listen Here - 6:42
3.Body And Soul - 5:35
4.Like Trane - 5:58
5.On Green Dolphin Street - 7:09
6.Oleo - 5:51
7.Don't Hop Da Hip -7:27
8.Yesterdays - 5:22
9.Memphis Underground - 8:12
Onaje Allan Gumbs - Piano
Ryo Kawasaki - Guitar
Lynn Seaton - Bass
Chip Shelton - Arranger, Vertical Flute, Bass Flute, Leader, Executive Producer
Cal Farney - Engineer
Ryo Kawasaki - Engineer, Mastering
Xavier Paul, Bob Forman - Artwork, Graphic Design, Art Direction
Gregory Bufford - Drums
Everald Brown - Conga
Kenny Mead - Producer
Daoud David Williams - Percussion, Executive Producer

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