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Album review: 'Jazz Flute Traditions' 

Néstor Torres

"Jazz Flute Traditions"

Alfi Records

Maybe it's a macho thing. Saxophones are bigger and bolder and trumpets are downright brash, but there have been relatively few great jazz flautists. Perhaps that's why one of today's reigning flute champs, Néstor Torres, has recorded a tribute to his predecessors, "Jazz Flute Traditions." The album is a wide-reaching survey of more than half a century of the modern jazz flute sound. Along the way Torres honors some of the great players of the recent past: Herbie Mann, Eric Dolphy, Yusef Lateef, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Hubert Laws, Torres' mentor.

Throughout the album, Torres employs his extraordinary technique and soulful sensibility to demonstrate his instrument's expressive possibilities. Highlights include a medley of Chick Corea's "Spain" and the Adagio from the piece it was inspired by, Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez." Torres has some excellent assistance from Silvano Monasterios on piano; Jamie Ousley, bass; Michael Piolet, drums; and Jose Gregorio Hernandez, percussion. Special guests include Ian Muñoz, saxophone; Marcus Grant, drums; and Miguel Russell, percussion.

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