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Tropic Heat

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Album Review

Flutist Dave Valentin's 16th album for GRP is one of his best. His regular group (a quartet with pianist Bill O'Connell, bassist Lincoln Goines, and drummer Robbie Ameen) is augmented by two percussionists and an excellent seven-member horn section that consists of the reeds of Dick Oatts, Mario Rivera, and David Sanchez; trombonist Angel "Papo" Vasquez; and three trumpeters, including Charlie Sepulveda. All of the horns get their opportunities to solo and the result is a particularly strong Latin jazz session. Valentin continues to grow as a player and he cuts loose on several of these tracks.


Born: 1954 in Chelmsford, England

Genre: Jazz

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

Dave Valentin, who has recorded over 15 albums for GRP, combines 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,...
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Tropic Heat, Dave Valentin
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