Bobbi Humphrey – Uno Esta

Bobbi Humphrey – Uno Esta from the Blue Note 45

As I thought, the Flea Market Funk Guest Mix Series has started off with much success. In fact, COOP’s mix brought me the most traffic ever, which says a lot about the man, the mix, and the people who belong to the FMF family. Thank you for checking this collaboration out. I have 3 more mixes in the can from 3 special guests. These will drop on the next three Mondays. Up for next Monday, is an all around digger, and DJ who can rock any party. His collection of rare 45’s will make even the most seasoned digger blush. Supreme La Rock, formerly known as Mr. Supreme threw down a live mix, no do overs, as it should be done. Keep your ear out for this gem filled with dusty beats and raw drums. Until then, please enjoy Bobbi Humphrey and “Uno Esta” from 1975 on Blue Note Records.

Born in Marlin, TX in 1950, but raised in Dallas, this well known Jazz flautist has released some really great sides. Picking up the flute while she was in high school and continuing on at TSU and SMU college wise, she was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie convinced her to pursue her playing in New York City, where she would take his advice and start things off by winning an amateur at the Apollo Theater. This jump start would lead her to regular circuit gigs in the Big Apple, as well as some with Gillespie. Blue Note would sign her to the label in 1971,( as the first female flautist on the Blue Note roster), and she’d go on to release six long players with them, including my favorite, 1973’s Blacks and Blues, Flute In, Dig This, Live in Montreaux, Satin Doll, and Fancy Dancer. Her perfect blend of Jazz Fusion, Funk, Soul, and R & B earned her not just a place in many digger’s crates, but the nickname “The First Lady of the Flute” and numerous Billboard awards. From Blue Note she’d move over to Epic, Malaco, and finally settle on her own label, Paradise Sound. I have a sweet spot for the funky flute, and Bobbi Humphrey. I definitely celebrate her early catalog, especially the work she did with the Mizell Brothers. Humphrey has worked with Lee Morgan, Stevie Wonder (on the classic Songs in the Key of Life), the aforementioned Dizzy Gillespie, Marlena Shaw, and in the modern day on Common’s Electric Circus record.

Uno Esta comes from her 1975 Lp “Fancy Dancer”. Written by Larry Mizell, Humphrey joined forces again with a mighty Mizell, creating a Jazz Funk Fusion that will keep you moving along in your headphones while riding your bike or bumping it in your ride. The Mizells were still laying down hits (Johnny Hammond’s Shifting Gears, Blacks and Blues, Donald Byrd’s Places and Spaces) with this Spanish influenced groove (Salsa anyone?). Humphrey’s flute meshes too perfect with the keyboards and horn section, but let’s not forget those drums. Speaking of Harvey Mason Sr. on the skins, let’s not forget the stellar line up: John Rowin on guitar, Chuck Rainey on bass, Dorothy Ashby on harp, Tyree Glenn on sax, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, Craig McMullen on guitar, Fonce Mizell on trumpet, Jerry Peters on piano, Julian Priester on trombone, plus the great flute playing of Bobbi. You may be familiar, you may not be familiar with Bobbi Humphrey. She may be small in stature, but she is a giant in the Jazz sense, and has laced us with some really great sides throughout her career. Keep your eye out for this mid 70’s slice of Mizell produced goodness. Keep Diggin’!

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