March 19, 1979 12:00 PM


For those—just about everybody—who can’t name a woman jazz musician who doesn’t play the piano, here is a name to memorize: Hilary Schmidt, 27, a classically trained flutist and soprano saxophonist from Glens Falls, N.Y. She plays both instruments with a fat, mellow tone and impressive restraint, and she also wrote most of the tunes on this, her first album. The only problem is that it’s difficult to evaluate her songs since the LP is so overproduced. Schmidt was thrown into a studio with L.A. session musicians, including a string section, to disjointed results. There is so little interplay Schmidt could have taped her solos in New York and flown them to the West Coast. She ought to record with smaller groups, where her eminent talents are complemented, not drowned out.

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