New York flutist Dave Valentin gigged as a teenager on congas before studying with Hubert Laws and taking his flute talents seriously. Today he’s musical director for Tito Puente and firmly rooted in the Latin jazz tradition.
Valentin’s latest album crosses a variety of styles, from the modern mainstream spark of "Space Cadet" to the smooth jazz melodies of "Reunion" and "Sunshower," the funk groove of "Embers" and "Porkchops," and the Latin dance of "Bandit" and "Subway Six," both of which exude a Disney appeal. Valentin’s bias for accessible melody over rhythmic variety and improvisation insure that his appeal will remain commercially successful. Fortunately, he’s added a pinch of salsa to the mix, so that his audience will extend beyond smooth jazz radio airwave boundaries.
| Year Released: 1999
| Record Label: Milestone Records
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.