Holly Hofmann is such a talented flutist that it is remarkable that she is still not all that well-known; certainly she ranks up there with Frank Wess and Lew Tabackin among the bop-oriented players. On her set for Azica, she enlisted a particularly strong supporting cast (trumpeter Bobby Shew, pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer Victor Lewis) for a set dominated by obscure but superior material. Hofmann's opening cadenza to one of the date's two standards ("Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise") gets the set off to a particularly strong start, and virtually all of the tracks that follow are rewarding in one way or another. Among the highlights are Bobby Shew's "Red Snapper" (which deserves to be a standard), Mike Wofford's "Afterthoughts" (a strong modal piece in tribute to John Coltrane), Hoffman's thoughtful "And Now You," and the cooking blues "Bone-Crusher." Throughout, both Shew and Cunliffe (the latter a very sympathetic accompanist whose improvisations are consistently strong) get their share of solos, while Magnusson and Lewis are excellent in support. A fine straight-ahead date.