When I was in college, Herbie Mann was a big part of the music scene. His version of Memphis blues crossed boundaries to successfully mix soul, pop, and jazz, and just about everyone could enjoy it. When I played this new album by flutist Mindy Canter, it popped the cork on a lot of happy memories. Though classically trained, Canter visits the same eclectic mix that Mann pursued. In fact, she plays some tunes closely associated with Mann, such as "Do It Again" and "Watermelon Man." A virtuoso herself, Canter has a backing group that grooves right along with her, heart and soul. Guitarist Denny Geyer stands out, and not just for his rich and vibrant guitar tracks. He proves to be a fine blues singer on "High Heel Sneakers," "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Hallelujah," and the old Tennessee Ernie Ford hit "16 Tons." The album closes with songs that work but might seem to some like strange bedfellows to the others on the disc -- "Over the Rainbow," featuring a Latin beat, and "Happy Trails," which features a flutist’s idea of a "lonesome wail." To cash in on the funk aspect of the disc, Canter overdubs some amazing Hammond B3 tracks that are perfectly recorded, always audible, and never unduly spotlighted. The other instruments are just as well recorded; Paul Smith’s bass is rich and full, providing terrific impetus to every track. To preserve spontaneity, the group recorded one take of each song in a four-hour session. I’d be up for a second volume.
2013: Grammy Nomination consideration for: Best Improvised Jazz Solo
"Fluteus Maximus (Live at Tully's)"
2011: 7 Grammy Nominations. Consideration for:
1. Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Fluteus Maximus, One Session, One Take
2. Best New Artist:
3. Best Instrumental Composition:
4. Best Instrumental Composition
5. Best Improvised Jazz Solo
*Do It Again
Mindy Canter: "Fluteus Maximus"
- 01 Oct 11
Sept. 2, 2011
Midwest Record Review
MINDY CANTER/Fluteus Maximus: From black jazz in church basements to duets with Yo Yo Ma, this flutatious lady has done it all. This set finds her going face to face with spontaneity as the whole thing was recorded in one take over four hours, old school style as the church basement black jazz opening track attests. Heartfelt funky stuff that takes you from “Over the Rainbow” to “16 Tons” while tipping the cap to Herbie Mann and more. You know a lot of the songs on here and probably haven’t had such a good time with this kind of stuff since before disco crept into everything. Clearly one funky good time.
Midwest Record Review Volume 34/Number 304
Mindy Canter is reviewed by Yahoo!
EJAZZ NEWS Oct. 31, 2011
Mindy Canter, Fluteus Maximus
Mindela Music, 2011
Steeped in the jazz traditions, but raised in the belly of the blues, female flautist Mindy Canter releases her latest endeavor keenly entitled Fluteus Maximus. Canter melds a mixture of original, well known, and obscure jazz choices that actually work well as a calling card for any listener looking to enjoy jazz with a bit of bluesy overtone.
All the cuts are melodic and easy to tap your foot too and Canter’s originals “Slider” and “Karma” truly standout as fine compositions, melding into the program and holding up strong along with the standards.
Danny Geyer lends vocals to the blues classics “High Heel Sneakers,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Halleluyah,” and “16 Tons,” giving the session a different twist with the leader not being the vocalist on this outing. Geyer’s voice is gritty and organic, which further lends itself to this One Session – One Take underpinning.
Each player lends their own authenticity to the proceedings. Cuts like “Watermelon Man,” Memphis Underground” and “Do It Again,” have a 70’s funky feel and is truthfully feel good jazz, nothing in your face, nothing over the top or pushing the envelope to chaos, just a good old fashioned romp in the listenable and enjoyable lane.
The journey ends with “Happy Trails,” which further proves the point, that this group of musicians and Fluteus Maximus in general, was conceived to bring joy and to take along with you on the long car drive, or the wind down at the end of the day or to ease you into the day with a smile and happy heart. Canter truly got the memo that music is supposed to bring joy to others. In a world where anger, aggression and scandal are a part of our daily news, turn you dial over to the Canter channel and soak in the good vibes of Flueteus Maximus.
Mindy Canter plays the flute as her main instrument but she also goes between the keyboards and Hammond B-3, and along with her band, she gets a chance to truly tear it up with some fine playing and great selection of songs. To make it interesting all of the songs were done in one take (thus the subtitle One Session: One Take), and then she'd dub her B-3 playing soon after. If she could split herself she'd probably play everything heard, but her playing is solid and you want to hear more. Along with originals, Canter handles versions of "Watermelon Man", "Mercy Mercy Mercy", "Over The Rainbow", "High Heel Sneakers", and showing her love of the flute to the fullest, a nice rendition of Herbie Mann's Classic "Memphis Underground", taken here at a performance that's under 5 1/2 minutes. Occasionally I'm kind of iffy about vocals, but most of them on the album are done by guitarist Denny Geyer, whose bluesy ways help take the song to deeper places and it's a perfect match for the music that's being played (the band is rounded out by Roy Blumenfeld on drums and Paul Smith on Bass). The title is a play on the glutes, thus playful, and the musicians here are playing to the maximum. The music can indeed move the glutes, your mileage may vary, but when you have music well executed as it is here, the title is secondary.
Mindy Canter is reviewed by The Borderland
by: John M. Peters
Mindy Canter - Fluteus Maximus Flautist Mindy Canter is a musician who enjoys pushing the boundaries of her instrument and music. Over her varied career she has worked with Michael Bloomfield, Boz Scaggs, It's A Beautiful Day and Yo Yo Ma. Fluteus Maximus is Ms Canter's third solo album, recorded in one session and with one take for all the tracks. With its rich mixture of blues, jazz, soul and r'n'b, and perhaps a little rock and roll too for seasoning, this an exuberant album, full of good vibes and happy moments.
Performing in a quartet format, Ms Canter also plays keyboards, Hammond B3 and provides vocals - the other musicians are Denny Geyer - guitar and vocals, Paul Smith - bass, and Roy Blumenfeld - drums. Congo player Danilo Paiz guested on three of the tracks. The twelve tracks are a mixture of original compositions and classic rock, soul and pop covers, all given a new lease of life in these spontaneous recordings.
The album breaks down into two halves: the first is a set of upbeat and incisive instrumentals, while the second half features vocals by Denny Geyer. The tracks are: Slider, Watermelon Man, Memphis Underground, Do It Again, Karma, Mercy Mercy Mercy, High Heel Sneakers, Funny How Time Slips Away, Halleluyah, 16 Tons, Over The Rainbow, Happy Trails.
Listening to Fluteus Maximus takes me back to the 70s when jazz flautist Herbie Mann was also mixing musical genres to great success. As with his albums this one also has great charm, good humour and unassuming but impressive musicality. This is one of those rare albums that bring a smile to the listener - it is simply a 'good times' album, with no other axe to grind. An album you can just listen to for pleasure, soundtrack a party, or use to dispel the motorway blues. Highly recommended.
Mindy Canter is reviewed by Jazzscene
by: George Fendel
Fluteus Maximus, Mindy Carter, flute, keyboards, Hammond B3, vocals.
This is a soulful quartet featuring the flute of Carter. While it would be safe to say there are more vigorous flute fans than yours truly, these folks do what they do with panache.
The rest of the quartet consists of Denny Geyer, guitar and vocals; Paul Smith, bass; and Roy Blumenfeld, drums. They all hit a nice little groove on well chosen hits such as "Watermelon Man," "Memphis Underground," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "High Heel Sneakers," "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "Hallelujah I Love Her So."
Some vocals here and there add a little spice. Anyway, just when you think this funky, understated groove is well in place, the quartet surprises us with three tunes many miles from this style. How about "Sixteen Tons" (remember Tennessee Ernie Ford?), "Over The Rainbow" and (I'm not kidding) "Happy Trails." As unlikely as it may sound, it works nicely. These guys are not in the game to spin your head with funky pyrotechnics. They simply play tunes for the sheer fun of playing them. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Mindy plays from the heart and infuses her music with feeling and soul.
Mindy is a wonderful artist, who is very caring & geniune in her work as a flutist.
Mindy is wonderfully interactive, with a great sixth sense of the music and musicians and how to solo in her own voice in a way that is magically suitable to the moment on each tune. There is a timelessness to her playing that hearkens back to the psychedelic era when even jazz musicians were breathing new contemplative life into their music. Mindy is obviously at home in any ensemble and easily brings her magical touch and breezy tones to any style of music. She's an original and one of a kind.
Mindy has a beautiful sound, great energy, and a soulful feel.
Mindy Canter is an exceptional Flutist. She has great ears, and is sensitive to the artist and producer.