Sadly, Charles Flores’ sophomore solo CD—a sturdy set of Latin jazz originals—is a posthumously-released one. The Cuban-born Flores, a member of the Michel Camilo Trio since 2002, succumbed to cancer last August. Joined here by Camilo drummer Cliff Almond, pianist Elio Villafranca and guest guitarist Wayne Krantz, Flores favors his 6-string, most effectively handling the melody on the swaying “Miriam,” and issuing a dense 6/8 groove and eventful solo on “Influence.” Ultimately, it’s his lone upright statement, the haunting “Gentile Words,” that will stay with you.
Review: Robert Hurst "Bob: A Palindrome"
For his sixth CD, Robert Hurst, best-known for his work with Wynton and Branford Marsalis (including the Tonight Show), delivers a contender for contemporary jazz record of the year—made even more impressive given that the tracks were recorded in 2001, but not released, due to 9/11 and Hurst’s rapid rise to first-call sideman status in jazz.