Release Date:
June 23, 2009

Reviewed by:
Bonnie Schendell

In a sea of blazing guitars, sexy saxes, and caressed piano keys, listeners often are heard saying they want to hear something new, something fresh.  Well, listeners, your prayers have been answered with monster flutist, Alexander Zonjic’s latest release, doin’ the D, released on Heads Up.  This CD not only has killer tunes, but an all-star cast to bring it all together.  Joining Alexander is Rick Braun, Brian Bromberg, Kenny G, Bob James, Jeff Lorber, James Lloyd, Maysa, Chieli Minucci, Ken Navarro, Dwight Sills, Lenny Castro, and Lao Tizer.  Whew!!!  Now that’s a lineup!

The CD opens with “Top Down,” which sets the mood right away.  Written by Jeff Lorber, this track gets you moving.  Alexander’s flute is crisp, energetic, and fun.  Right from the first note you realize that the flute IS a jazz instrument!  Lorber’s keyboard playing is classic Lorber.  The second tune and first single to be released is “From A to Z” and was written by and features James Lloyd on keys.  It’s easy to see why this was picked as the first single.  It just blows you away with its catchy melody and great hooks.  Slowing the pace down some, “Little Sunflower” features a side-by-side melody of flute and sax, the latter provided by Kenny G.  It’s a wonderful combination that just melts together.

“Passion Island,” written by Lao Tizer and Chieli Minucci, and featuring Bob James, is one of this reviewers favorite tracks.  The Latin-infused melody suits the flute so well.  The energy in this song just builds and carries you along.  Minucci’s guitar work is the underlying force behind this energy with the flute leading the way.  ”Tourista,” also written by Jeff Lorber, features Rick Braun on flugelhorn.  This track just keeps the funky mood going and the energy high.  When Maysa sings, you can’t help but be drawn into every word.  “Undun,” The classic Guess Who tune, is just perfect with the flute of Alexander and the voice of Maysa.  This is an absolutely beautiful rendition.

“Doin’ the D” is Alexander’s tribute to the city of Detroit.  Written by and featuring Ken Navarro, and keyboardist Jay Rowe, this tune just paints a picture of cruising through the city scape.  Again, the energy and flow of this song just carries you on the journey.  A perfect flute sound can be found on “Good As Goldie,” “River Raisin Nights,” and the closing tune, Tongue Twister.”  Nothing really extraneous on these - just the talents of this amazing flutist.  These really showcase his abilities. 

Listening to this CD has been an amazing treat.  Definitely something new and fresh.  This CD will definitely put the flute, and specifically Alexander Zonjic, firmly above the radar.  I have no problem saying that this is definitely one of this year’s Top 5 CDs!  Make sure this is added to your collection.