Jazz flautist and Latin Grammy Award winner Nestor Torres expands his musical horizons to create an instrumental pop masterpiece on Sin Palabras (Without Words) (HUCD 3081).
As usual, the virtuoso flautist finds himself in excellent company. Recorded in Miami, Los Angeles, and Youngstown, Ohio, Sin Palabras features a number of talented, high-profile producers, including James Lloyd (from Pieces of a Dream) on seven tracks, Carlo Pennisi from Miami and Jimmy Haslip (of Yellowjackets) on two cuts each. Says Torres, "This is much more of a pop album with jazz and Latin flavors than my previous releases, and it feels right."
In addition to co-writing the title track "Sin Palabras (Without Words)," James Lloyd reaches back and gives pure freshness to the Latin classic "Contigo Aprendí," with impressive results. There is a crisp, new sound brought to Grammy Award winner Alejandro Sanz’s hit "Regalame La Silla Donde Te Espere." "James is a master of urban, pop, and contemporary jazz," Torres explains. "His work with Pieces of a Dream has consistently been on top of the charts for over twenty-five years. He is a great producer and a lot fun to be around."
Torres chose to record the irresistible "Contigo Aprendí" because "it is timeless music and Armando Manzanero is a master composer who knows how to write a melody," he says.
The team of Jimmy Haslip, Danny Sembello and Baby Boy co-wrote two tracks with Torres: "Pura Brisa," inspired by the street in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where Torres grew up; and "Labios Dulzes," which features Torres on vocals with his flute dancing over a hip hop beat. Says Torres, "Jimmy, Danny and Baby Boy are a really unique team with an impressive and impeccable pop music approach, and a very exciting and hip understanding of urban and hip hop grooves and beats."
Italian producer Carlo Pennisi co-penned "Maybe Tonight" and "Piper Dance" with Torres, which features the horns of trumpeter Chuck Willis and saxophonist Wayne DeLano. "Carlo has a very fresh sound and a European sensitivity that appeals to me a great deal," says Torres.
Richie Bravo, known for laying down percussion for Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera, is another special guest featured on the title track.
Torres’ interest in composing, arranging and performance was sparked when he first started playing the flute at age 12 in his hometown of Mayaguez. He later attended Inter-American University in San German, Puerto Rico, before moving north to study at the Berklee College of Music, the Mannes College of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music.
In 1981, Torres moved to Miami. Though his first years there were a struggle, he doesn’t regret them. He believes the hardships made him appreciate "what a great privilege it is to be able to make music." Torres' recording career was in full swing by the late ‘80s, but his momentum stalled in 1990 when he was nearly killed in a celebrity boating accident that left him with eighteen fractured ribs, both clavicles broken and a collapsed lung. "I had been practicing Buddhism for ten years. It made me realize how important it is to have a strong, sound philosophy of life."
Today, fifteen years later, Sin Palabras marks a big step in Torres’ career. "I am very excited about this new departure. This time I feel it is best to let the music do the talking; after all, some things are best expressed Without Words."