Released very shortly after the Latin jazz trombonist's death in the spring of 2005, A Life in Music is a solid overview of Juan Pablo Torres' shortened career. A Cuban exile whose career stretched back to the days of the great Cuban dance bands, Torres didn't stay in one place stylistically after he left his homeland. The 16 tracks here, bracketed by the modern jazz solo "Los Herederos," encompass standards ranging from "Volare" and "Perfidia" to an Afro-Cuban re-imagination of "Rhapsody in Blue" that utterly transforms the song. Torres also wrote originals in a variety of popular dance styles, always sure to include solo showcases for his bandmates as well as himself, as on the lengthy groove workout "Torres and Turre." Although a single album doesn't do justice to this underrated talent, A Life in Music makes for a fine introduction.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason