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Fireweed Fantasy – original composition by Biff Smith

Andy Weis Presents the
Monterey All-Stars

Fireweed Fantasy – original composition by Biff Smith



About Fireweed Fantasy

David:

This original composition by local genius composer Biff Smith was just the ticket for showing off the dueling flutes of Kenny Stahl and Ali Ryerson. A powerful modal piece that sets the stage for some wonderful call-and-response challenges from the two tooters, with the rest of the band charging in behind. A great romp.

Andy:

Biff Smith has a large library of fantastic original songs and this is one of my favorites. I first heard this song on a Kenny Stahl recording. The underlying Latin rhythm is a Baiao (sometimes referred to as Baion) that has a wonderful forward motion to it.

With 2 world class flutists in the show, it was a natural to have them featured together. And what a classy tour de force it was! I set up the Baion rhythm after a bass cadenza (omitted here) and off we go. The song is stated by Kenny, followed by his solo and then superb solos by Steve Ezzo and Dasher Kempton. Ali now joins forces with her solo and now the fun is elevated by Kenny and Ali, first with their musical exchanges, then with “in the moment” simultaneous solos. This produces a counterpoint that fits together seamlessly. After that, Dasher sets up a montuno on the piano for an open drum solo. The bonfire burns at full force with both flutes playing the head of the song again, leaving the audience (and the rest of the band) knowing that they have just witnessed and heard something very special and rare with these 2 flute masters performing together

Personnel:

  • Ali Ryerson: Flute
  • Kenny Stahl: Flute
  • David ‘Dasher’ Kempton: Piano
  • Steve Ezzo: Guitar
  • Dennis Murphy: Electric Bass
  • Andy Weis: Drums

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