Nestor Torres is one versatile flutist, having created smooth-jazz tunes in addition to contemporary jazz with hard-driving Latin rhythms. On Nouveau Latino, the Puerto Rican native now living in Florida returns to his Latin roots with his versions of Latin salsa hits from the ’60 and ’70s, plus a few standards, such as “Cocinando” by Ray Barretto.
Celia Cruz’s “Quimbara” is complementary to Torres’ percussive style of flute playing, while Hector Rivera’s “Petitie (Mujer Divina)” sways with Tommy Ruiz’s vocals. The great Ruben Blades is represented with “Pablo Pueblo,” a gorgeous ballad with only Torres’ flute and Milton Salcedo’s piano accompaniment.
“Karakatiskis” showcases the Puerto Rican style known as plena, and “Sonando Con Puerto Rico” is from singer-songwriter Bobby Capo, here featuring only Torres’ flute, the bass and congas. “Maria Cervantes (Suite)” is a song Torres has played in his live shows for many years, and is by Puerto Rican Latin-jazz pioneer and pianist Noro Morales. Simply put, the salsa tradition lives on through Torres.