Lately, Alexander Zonjic has been multitasking. The mustachioed flutist is a radio personality, a concert organizer and he co-owns the upscale eatery Seldom Blues. Said endeavors haven’t interfered with his ability to make music, and this disc, Zonjic’s first in four years, proves it.
Zonjic is smart too because Seldom Blues is loaded with a smattering of big-named smooth-jazz and R&B essentials, vocalists Kem and Angela Bofill, guitarist Earl Klugh and pianist Bob James among them. But the flutista doesn’t let their personalities smother him; rather, he creates a base of sunny-day grooves on each track — even on the uninspired ones.
On “Leave it with Me,” Zonjic and Klugh sound as if they’ve been playing together since the womb. Kem’s elegant bedroom vocal floats effortlessly atop Zonjic’s flute in the title cut. And “People Make the World Go Round” proves that Zonjic’s chops haven’t rusted between recordings. There are a few stinkers of course: “Britters” is downright dull, and the disco-lite “Sweet” seems misplaced. No problem, the stellar work on the Eric Burdon/War hit “Spill the Wine” and Angela Bofill’s “Under the Moon and Over the Sky” redeem.
The release party is Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Renaissance Center’s Ambassador Ballroom (downtown Detroit; 313-964-5050) with Bob James, Kirk Whalum, James Lloyd and Kevin Whalum.
Charles L. Latimer writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.