Playing By Ear: Mark Weinstein

Jazz flutist Mark WeinsteinAccording to NPR: “Mark Weinstein is a master jazz flutist who was once a master jazz trombonist. In 1966, he played trombone on Cuban Roots, a prized cult classic which blended Afro-Cuban folkloric music with jazz. Soon afterward, he left the world of music to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy, and later went into teaching. But Weinstein never fully stopped playing music. Now a flute player, he has recently released a new album, Con Alma.

When Cuban Roots was first released — in a poorly recorded pressing of only 500 copies — it was received with commercial neglect, Weinstein says. Though it became a highly influential, heavily bootlegged album, its initial reception spurred him to quit the life of a professional musician and enter academia. He remains a professor at New Jersey’s Montclair State University today.

He has since taught himself the flute, which he calls “a relief” compared with the trombone.

“The trombone is a very difficult instrument,” Weinstein says. “It can’t move very quickly through the changes, and so you have to have things all planned out. Whereas the flute is just the sweetest, most fluent, most lyrically ambiguous instrument. I love the flute.”

Listen to Mark Weinstein on a clip by photoheaven7.

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