Orlando "Maraca" & Celine Valle, Richard Egues, Jane Bunnett
Cheery is a good word for this upbeat session from one of the emerging music capitals of the Western Hemisphere. Four flurrying flutes, three clattering congueros, two entwining hands (of pianist Hilario Duran) and one bouncing bass (of Oscar Rodriguez) make for a merrier mosaic of sonic images than "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Nearly everything is medium up, and your ears will be hard pressed to tell all those flautists apart, unless it's by the order they're listed under each track. Elder flute maestro Richard Egues appears on three tracks, with a lighter tone and fluid attack. Super unison work may pop up (Bunnett's "Sunshower"), or delectable harmonizing (Duran's "Amanezco"); there's a nod to traditional bebop (producer Larry Cramer's drops in a unison line from Bird on "Expectation") and to old-fashioned Cuban mambo (Egues' first romantic, then sassy and funky "Tumbao Flautero"). Good, flighty, lighthearted fun is had by all.