Los Mas Valientes
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Los Mas Valientes

Belleville, New Jersey, United States

Belleville, New Jersey, United States
Band Latin Jazz

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Titere Fue Review, Vicki Sola, June/July 2005"

The release of Titere Fue (Laughing Buddha Productions), Jessica Valiente y Los Mas Valientes' third release, was celebrated this past March 21st at the Manhattan club called The Living Room, with various special guests, such as singer/songwriter Genevieve Gazon, vocalists Stephanie and Arielle Rosario, and poet/author Pazcual Villaronga.

The CD contains 10 tracks, including eight compositions written by flutist/bandleader Valiente, her trombonist husband Rick Faulkner, and timbalero/drummer Victor Rendon, and vocalist Gazon (co-composer with Valiente and Faulkner of the title track).

"We're very excited to finally see this disc hit the streets--it was a very long time coming!" says Valiente. "I took time to have the girls (daughters Maggie and Lisa), and with small children, it's very hard to work on a project like this." Valiente jokes frequently that it took less time to produce two children than it took to produce her latest CD.

"We have some exciting guest artists and collaborators on this project, and some musical tributes to artists and others who have inspired us," she continues. "And as usual, we've incorporated a lot of rhythmic and stylistic variety--something we love to do and that has been a priority on all of our projects."

Los Mas Valientes' players are incredibly seasoned and versatile. All of their previous productions (Los Mas Valientes, Gira Caribena/Caribbean Journey) and their latest, have something to please everyone. My personal picks from Titere Fue are the title track, Steak Sauce (dedicated to the Latin jazz crowd at Willie's Steakhouse), Noro Morales Maria Cervantes (based on Tito Puente's arrangement), Faulkner's red-hot descarga Yasuyo, Victor and Willie, and his answer to Mario Bauza's Mambo Inn: Mambo Out, finished the day before Puente's passing, and, as Valiente says, dedicated to Tito and all of the great mambo kings. - Latin Beat Magazine


"By Peter Westbrook, January 2006"

Featured Artist: Los Más Valientes,


CD Title: Titere Fué,

Year: 2005

Record Label: Laughing Buddha Records

Style: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk

Musicians: Jessica Valiente - flute/musical director; Debra Kreisberg - reeds; Rick Faulkner - trombone; Chiemi Nakai - piano; Anna Milat-Meyer - bass; Victor Rendón - drums & timbales; Yasuyo Kimura congas; Willie Serrano Rivera - percussion

Review: Here is an unexpected delight from a group that deserves more attention. Formed in 1995 by Jessica Valiente, Anna Millet Meyer, and Yasuyo Kimura, Los Más Valientes is an eight-piece ensemble, described by Cadence Magazine as "a tightly knit band of Latin music professionals [that] plays the music of Latin America with dedication and a true understanding of its pulse." The group's potential was clearly demonstrated by their debut album, Los Mas Valientes, which was listed it as one of the 10 best albums of 1999 by Latin Beat Magazine. Titere Fué, their third release, suggests that this was no fluke.
It has been a long time in the making. The groups leader, flutist Jessica Valiente, has had her hands full juggling several priorities--raising a family and working on a DMA in performance at C.U.N.Y. She likes to joke that it has taken her longer to produce this CD than to produce two children! But it is finally done, and it follows in the same vein as the earlier recordings. The writing, which is mainly by Valiente and her husband, trombonist Rick Falkner, adroitly exploits the group's colors and textures, and draws on a range of different Latin-American forms: mambo, salsa, charanga, descarga, danzón, etc. (And what a nice idea to label each song's form next to its title in the notes.) The ensemble executes the charts with aplomb, driven by the percussion-rich rhythm section and anchored by Chiemi Nakai's keyboard work. And the soloists give a good account of themselves; Faulkner is a strong trombonist in the tradition of Jimmy Bosche, Kreisberg has a highly personal saxophone style with a sound that suggests some classical training, and Valiente, although she downplays her role as a soloist, has a fresh approach to the flute that is very appealing.

She has some competition; there are some wonderful Latin jazz artists in New York, including several excellent flutists–Dave Valentin, Andrea Brachfeld, Carlos Jimenez...Valiente stands out from all these through conception rather than raw technique. That she has technique I can attest, having attended her DMA recital, where she performed a program of solo flute literature from Tellemann to Paquito de Rivera. But she also has a wealth of knowledge about both jazz and Latin forms which she has applied both to the development of the group sound and to her role in it. Steeped in the Charanga tradition, with its emphasis on a flute-led ensemble, her solo role is closer to this Cuban form than to a jazz orientation. But it works beautifully. When she does feature herself, as on "Petite Fleur" and "Maria Cervantes," she scores with simplicity and directness.

Overall, Jessica Valientes is another artist with a strong local following but some way from national exposure. If you enjoy Latin music, however, you would do well to check out Los Más Valientes.

- JazzReview.com


"Descarga Review - Caribbean Journey"

LOS MAS VALIENTES
Caribbean Journey (CD Laughing Buddha)
Category: LATIN JAZZ; LATIN JAZZ
***EditorsPick: This finely crafted production is a celebration of
infectious Afro-Caribbean dance rhythms.
Led by flautist Jessica Valiente and featuring special guests Ray
Vega (of the Tito Puente orchestra) and violinist Miri Ben Ari, the
band is comprised of very talented New York based musicians including
one of our favorite timbaleros, Victor Rendón. They do a terrific job
infusing a flavorful swing into a wide palette of totally danceable
styles including salsa, son, bomba, merenge, mozambique and even a
lovely reggae-chá. Very sweet. Recommended.
<A href=" http://www.descarga.com/cgi-bin/db/18989.10 ">Details</A>
- descarga.com


"Descarga Review - Los Mas Valientes"

LOS MAS VALIENTES
Los Mas Valientes (CD Laughing Buddha)
Category: LATIN JAZZ; LATIN JAZZ
***EditorsPick: The debut release, from 1999, of Los Mas Valientes.
Flautist Jessica Valiente produces a very tasty rich jazz framework
supported by an array of Afro-Latin rhythms including mambo, guajira,
bembe, bugalu and songo. Very nice work.
<A href=" http://www.descarga.com/cgi-bin/db/18988.10 ">Details</A>

- descarga.com


"Erik "Chico" Manqueros - Caribbean Journey"

Los Mas Valientes
Gira Caribeña (Caribbean Journey)
Laughing Buddha Productions


The sounds of Latin Jazz are smokin’ with this fantastic new release from Los Mas Valientes, Gira Caribeña. This band possesses a unique style and sound that sets them apart from many. Most of the material on the recording is original and it is hot!

Jessica Valiente is the flutist and leader of this swinging and energetic group. She is accompanied by an exceptional cast of musicians who are having fun with this great music. Debra Kreisberg (alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet) is solid throughout and her sound on the horn is superb. I look forward to hearing more from her on future recordings. Rick Faulkner (trombone) plays with a first rate sound. On piano, William Paul Rodriguez keeps the groove right on! His vocal talents are highlighted on the classic tune, “Obsesión,” written by Pedro Flores. A new talent on congas, Yasuyo Kimura plays with the style of a highly seasoned and creative conguera. The well-respected Victor Rendón is featured here on timbales and traps. This man is one out-of-sight percussionist. Willie Serrano Rivera is heard here on bongos, cowbell, and various percussion, and sounds good. The bass duty is handled nicely by Anna Milat-Meyer.

There are also nice touches added by invited guest artists Ray Vega (trumpet); check out his solo on the songo-blues tune “I Don’t Think So”-- very groovy. Mir Ben Ari on violin is heard on “Pa’Yasú.”

You will hear for yourself that this fine ensemble has the talent to go to the top of the Latin jazz scene in a hurry. When I hear their music, including their first self-titled release, I hear touches of Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, Willie Bobo, Poncho Sanchez and, of course, the great Tito Puente. Their influences are there, yet this sweet sounding band has created its own Latin jazz groove. If you are not convinced, check out the jazzy bossa nova, “Enquanto Voçê Estava Aquí.” Written by Debra Kreisberg, she leads this one with a fine effort, along with Jessica on flute. Rick Faulkner plays a pretty solo here as well on trombone. The arrangement moves and is tight. I also enjoyed the opening explosive tune by Victor Rendón, “Timba-Són,” that is so full of power and finesse. If you want to mellow out the mood, let the soft bolero “You’ll Never Know” soothe your soul. This is an absolutely gorgeous tune! Just what you need to complement a fine chilled glass of wine. Being a big baseball fan, I also dug the tune dedicated to Sammy Sosa, “66 (For Sammy Sosa).” Just like Sammy, this one is full of flavor, and is mighty just like Sammy’s swing!

Jessica Valiente’s composition of “Ska-Cha” will delight all of us aficionados of the Cha-Cha-Cha. Perfect for some serious dancing or just some serious kicking back. “Pa’Yasu” is another grooving tune which highlights the great sound of Jessica on flute. This is some serious Latin Jazz.

To close out this recording the group performs the highly rhythmic mozambique, “Foxy’s on the Dance Floor,” which allows the group to groove straight ahead. Listen to the tremendous solos. This tune reminds me of the great Mongo Santamaria and the sound his Latin jazz band had in the mid-seventies. I wish this recording could go on and on, and you will too.

Los Mas Valientes son muy calientes...! Let them take you along for the ride on the Caribbean Journey.

This recording gets a solid 5-conga rating...!

Keep enjoying Latin Jazz

Erik Chico Manqueros
The Latin Style of Jazz

LatinJazzClub.com & Latin Style Magazine
- Latin Style Magazine


"Voice Choices - Voice PICK (April 21-27, 2004)"

(Los Mas Valientes + Metropolitan Klezmer)

Here we have two different threads of the New York experience from octets led by women. Drummer Eve Sicular's Metropolitan Klezmer is an outstanding group that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Ditto for flutist Jessica Valiente's Los Mas Valientes, which has a very tight Latin sound. Extra Points if you dance during both bands' sets. At 8.

Tad Hendrickson - The Village Voice


"Caribbean Journey (January 2002)"

Led by flutist Jessica Valiente, Los Mas Valientes are enjoying the release of their second album, Caribbean Journey. The coed Latin jazz ensemble from New York City displays its chops through an assortment of Caribbean rhythms, from the Cuban songo and timba to the Puerto Rican bomba, Dominican merengue, Jamaican Reggae and Brazilian bossa nova. The group's previous, mostly instrumental repertoire embraces the vocal concept on this recording, with the tracks Timba-Son, Vieques, and the Pedro Flores' classic, Obsesion. The new production also welcomes the addition of percussionists Victor Rendon and Willie Serrano to the group. Featured on this CD as special guests are trumpeter Ray Vega, violinist Miri Ben Ari, and vocalist Carlos "Tato" Torres. Caribbean Journey contains a total of 10 selections, all remaining commited to the group's first love of Latin jazz. The production swings, with commendable arrangements and pleasant melodies that at times venture into the experimental and diverse. Completing the roster of Los Mas Valientes are: Debra Kreisberg on saxophone and clarinet, Rick Faulkner on trombone, William Paul Rodriguez on piano, Anna Milat-Meyer on bass, and Yasuyo Kimura on conga. - Latin Beat Magazine


Discography

"Los Mas Valientes" released May, 1999 (Laughing Buddha Productions)
"Gira Caribena/Caribbean Journey" released August 2001 (Laughing Buddha Productions)
"Titere Fue" released March, 2005 (Laughing Buddha Productions)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Formed in 1995, Los Mas Valientes brings together some of today’s finest Latin musicians. Collectively, the band’s resume reads like a who’s-who of New York’s jazz and Latin music scene. Its members have played with Chico O’Farrill, Louis Bauzó, Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers, Charlie Persip, Max Roach, Orlando Marín, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Kit McClure Band, Johnny Almendra y Los Jovenes del Barrio, Grammy-nominated Juan Carlos Formell...and the list goes on.

The Village Voice's Tad Hendrickson says,“...flutist Jessica Valiente’s Los Más Valientes ...has a tight Latin sound.” Erik "Chico" Manqueros (Latin Style Magazine) says, "The band possesses a unique style and sound that sets them apart from many." Of Los Mas Valientes' musical director Jessica Valiente, WBAI Latin jazz radio host Chico Alvarez says, "Ms. Valiente is a kick-butt flutist with a flair for both Jazz and Cuban music.”

 Los Más Valientes plays original Latin jazz compositions, innovative arrangements of Latin jazz standards, classic charanga, descarga, and salsa dura in the tradition of the Cachao descargas, Fania All-Stars, Alegre All-stars, from charanga to mambo to salsa dura.


Band Members