Dave Valentin

Come Fly with Me

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Dave Valentin has for many years sat on the fusion fence. Incorporating elements of smooth jazz, Latin influences, and modern jazz sensibilities has made him a hard man to peg. Come Fly with Me is a standout among his discography, as one of very few straight down the middle Latin jazz records. Without a funk groove or samba in sight, the play list is predominantly Afro-Cuban, with a little New York thrown in for fun. Fueled by a deadly rhythm section including Robert Ameen on drums, Milton Cardona and the blistering Richie Flores on percussion, young gun Luquez Curtis on bass, and longtime cohort Bill O'Connell on piano, this record has both guts and grace to spare. Trombonist/arranger Papo Vasquez is also featured on a few tracks. The group's groove is deep, and the solos are inspired. There are occasional moments of "ooh, that didn't work too well," which is surprising considering the experienced cast of characters involved. That said, Valentin's innate sense of taste and melody shine through clear as day. He has made quite a few very enjoyable records, and Come Fly with Me may be the most enjoyable yet.

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