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Nestor Torres: Jazz Flute Traditions

Roger Farbey By

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Born in Puerto Rico in 1957, Néstor Torres began learning the flute at the age of 12. Moving with his family to New York when he was 18, he studied jazz and classical music at the Mannes College of Music in New York and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Following in the wake of over fifteen albums, including the Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated Nouveau Latino, released in 2008, Jazz Flute Traditions is an homage to early pioneers including some legendary jazz flautists.

Recorded live at public radio station WDNA 88.9 FM studios in front of a justifiably wildly enthusiastic audience,Jazz Flute Traditions offers both a genuine masterclass in this all-too rarely heard instrument and a whistle-stop tour recalling some of its greatest exponents. It also revisits some classic pieces of jazz that have become standards or that have become synonymous with their composers.

Thus the listener is treated to a clutch of brilliant jazz flute numbers such as Herbie Mann's "Memphis Underground" and Eric Dolphy's "Gazzelloni." There's a lively version of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Serenade To A Cuckoo" and an affecting interpretation of Yusef Lateef's "The Golden Flute." But there are also tunes which are embellished with dynamic interpretations, such as Chick Corea's exuberant "Spain," arguably his best-known and best-loved composition.

This is undeniably a beautiful album executed by a true virtuoso of the flute and one who, like his contemporary Hubert Laws, has made the instrument one of mesmeric attraction. From the irresistible opener "Swingin' Shepherds Blues," through Neal Hefti's famous "Cute" to the Latin-esque finale "Miami Beach Rhumba," every number on this record possesses its own unique charm and in doing so makes this welcome release very addictive.

Track Listing: Swingin' Shepherds Blues; Memphis Underground; Jungle Fantasy; Adagio From Concierto De Aranjuez/Spain; The Golden Flute; Serenade To A Cuckoo; Sequenza / Gazzelloni; Cute; Windows; So in Love; Miami Beach Rhumba.

Personnel: Néstor Torres: flute; Silvano Monasterios: piano; Jamie Ousley: bass; Michael Piolet, Marcus Grant (8): drums; Jose, Miguel Russell, Gregorio Hernandez (2,3,11): percussion; Ian Muñoz (2,6, 8): alto saxophone.

Title: Jazz Flute Traditions | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Alfi

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