If push came to shove and I had to name my three favourite musical instruments, I would probably plump for the vibraphone, the trumpet and the flute. It's certainly true that the guitar (in all its forms) and the cello would both be making a claim for top billing but there is just something about the sound of those other three that always gets me when played by the right hands and/or lips. In the first of a potentially 'long and drawn out' feature, I want to spend some time with each of my top three.
First up, the flute. My dad used to play the flute a little, so this may be one of the reasons I love it so much. He learned to play whilst serving in the Grenadier Guards, when, in between gigs shooting at communists in Malaya or keeping the 'peace' in Palestine/Israel, he was in his regiment's corps of drums. Many members of his family were self-taught musicians, my grandfather played the clarinet and my great uncle and great aunt both played the piano in the old picture houses. Sadly, I haven't the same level of musical dexterity as these good people but I try my pitiful best. Anyway, I digress. Other than listening to my dad, the first flute music I heard was probably Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto (which we had on an LP, matched with his awesome Clarinet Concert) and the more populist recordings of James Galway. I don't really listen to classical flute playing nowadays but I do adore it used in a jazz or funk context. So, here's the brilliant Hubert Laws with 'I Had A Dream', which is actually to be found on his album, The Chicago Theme (1975) and not Carnegie Hall as suggested in the clip. Enjoy.
I Had A Dream (1975)
Flag vs. Flag, 2013
3 hours ago