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Come Fly With Me

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Album Review

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. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi


Born: 1954 in Chelmsford, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Dave Valentin, who recorded over 15 albums for GRP, combined together the influence of pop, R&B, and Brazilian music with Latin jazz to create a slick and accessible form of crossover jazz. At age nine, Valentin enjoyed playing bongos and congas. He gigged at Latin clubs in New York from age 12 and it was not until he was 18 that he seriously started studying flute. Valentin's teacher, Hubert Laws, suggested that he not double on saxophone because of his attractive sound on the flute. In 1977, he...
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Come Fly With Me, Dave Valentin
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