WRVR featured some great Latin Jazz and crossover Latin artists. Flautist Dave Valentin was part of the regular rotation and was equally adept playing traditional jazz as he was performing his unique salsa inspired originals and covers. I first heard Valentin featured on Angela Bofill’s debut album Angie on GRP Records, the label that best represented the “RVR sound with artists such as Bofill and Valentin, as well as Earl Klugh, Lee Ritenour, Michael Brecker, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Eddie Daniels, Mercer Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, The Rippingtons, Arturo Sandoval, and Diane Schuur, and made extensive use of the emerging technology of digital recording.
Angie and David were close friends which led to Bofill’s introduction to GRP founders Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen by Valentin, and several memorable collaborations. Listen to how Valentin’s flute complements Angie’s plaintive soprano on “The Only Thing I Would Wish For” from Angie and “Can’t Change My Heart” from Dave’s 1986 album Light Struck.
Valentin put his stamp on the Beatles classic, “Blackbird”, from his 1979 album The Hawk. This up-tempo version has an infectious vibe that transforms the mood of the original.
Closing the set with Valentine’s smooth rendition of the Mongo Santamaria composition “Afro-Blue” from Valentine’s 1978 release Legends on Arista Records.