June 1999

Walter Bell
The Pleasure's All Mine
Reika

On The Pleasure's All Mine (Reika 0927-81-03; 63:24), Walter Bell utilizes a variety of mainly Latin-inspired settings to spotlight the versatility of the flute. Bell smartly taps into sparse, basic arrangements to keep his awe-inspiring leads front and center-from snaking, sliding low register play on the funky percussive "Jive Samba" to breathtaking tongue-and-trill runs on a joyous read of "Autumn Leaves." Where Bell plays clipped, rapid and light on the Brazilian-swinging "Mother's Day," he leans into long, soulful lines over jazz club piano and acoustic bass for "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Throughout, Bell shows a willingness to experiment with sounds and mix techniques, as evidenced on the dual octave spins propelling "Hard Times," which boasts a light gospel-to-soul sway. Throughout, Pleasure opens enlightening windows to the unique aspects of an under-utilized instrument.

Originally published in June 1999
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