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Flaunt It With Jazz Flute

There's more to jazz flute than <em>Anchorman</em>'s Ron Burgundy.
Courtesy of Dreamworks SKG
There's more to jazz flute than Anchorman's Ron Burgundy.

The flute is one of the oldest known instruments, but it gets little respect. Ever since Neanderthals held cave-dwelling jam sessions on perforated bear bones, humanoids have panned the instrument's airy magic. These days, anyone with a femur to pick would likely point to the many schmaltzy recordings of the concert flute or its woodwind cousins — the tin whistle, the pan flute, the ocarina or even the tonette. Luckily, the sheer virtuosic force of many jazz artists has lent a cool factor to the much-maligned instrument. Here are five of jazz's best flutists in action.

For more entries in NPR Music's weekly Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler series, click here.

Copyright 2008 WBGO

Josh Jackson is the associate general manager for content at WRTI in Philadelphia.