2. Slip and Slide
4. Pure Imagination
7. When Sunny Gets Blue
8. Cat Man
9. Last Minute
Dave Valentin - Flute, alto flute, bass flute
Bill O'Connell - Piano
Ruben Rodriguez - Bass
Robby Ameen - Drums
Richie Flores - Percussion
Dave Valentin started his musical career as a Latin-American percussionist but then switched to the flute, although his interest in Latin rhythms is still very evident on this new CD. His virtuosity as a flautist is also clear as he plays his way through six originals by pianist Bill O'Connell and three standards.
Valentin's skill is audible in the very first number, Charlie Chaplin's Smile, especially in the section where he is backed simply by bass and percussion. His ability is not only technical but also emotional, making every tune a passionate statement. Other outstanding numbers are the title-track (Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley's lovely theme from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) and When Sunny Gets Blue, where Valentin's multifarious flutes are multi-tracked to produce a flute symphony of depth and luminescence.
Dave is backed by some excellent fiery percussion, sturdy bass, and
talented pianist Bill O'Connell (playing piano and electric piano),
although Bill's repetitious riffs on such tracks as Slip and Slide
and Hummingbird become tedious. However, his composition Joy
gives Valentin the opportunity to let loose in some vigorous playing
on a varying beat. This tune and Cat Man mix jazz fusion with
a Latin beat, the latter piece having strong bass guitar from Ruben
It is always good to hear a master of a musical instrument showing his paces, and this album should appeal not only to Latin-American jazz enthusiasts but to jazz fans of all persuasions.