ARC Spotlight Artists New Releases

Valdez releases Shades of Happiness

Saxophonist David Valdez leads this lyrical, romantic, and sophisticated blend of Modern Jazz, woodwind-heavy Classical chamber music and authentic Latin and Brazilian styles.
Genre: Jazz: Chamber Jazz
Release Date: 2017

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Album Notes

David Valdez
(Photo by Robert Wade)
Alto saxophonist David Valdez leads this lush, lyrical and sophisticated Latin Chamber-Jazz ensemble, performing the compositions of Brazilian-born pianist/composer Jasnam Daya Singh, Lee Morgan, and Perico Sambeat.

Valdez grew up in Santa Cruz, California and over the years has lived and worked in the Bay Area, Boston, New York City and Portland. He recently relocated to Kansas City from the Northwest. Shades of Happiness is his second Latin/Brazilian-Jazz album.

Valdez’s first Latin-Jazz CD Oasis, which was released in 2006, received radio airplay in 14 countries. Shades of Happiness is highly orchestrated, relaxed and a romantic album that covers a wide range of styles, including Bolero, Tango, Choro, Afro-Cuban, Boss Nova, Latin Waltz, and Modern Jazz.

The result is a refined and romantic, yet harmonically complex recording with broad appeal. Jazz aficionados, Classical Chamber music lovers, audiophiles, and serious fans of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Argentine styles all will find something to sink their teeth here.

Singh’s compositions are an amalgam of influences that include Astor Piazzolla, Romantic Classical composers like Ravel and Debussy, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, as well as the sophisticated styles of Rio de Janeiro, where he was raised.

Valdez’s warm alto saxophone is supported by clarinetist/bass clarinetist Harvey Wainapel, a West Coast-based musician who is as deeply immersed in Brazilian music as he is in Jazz. Wainapel has been a lynchpin of the Bay Area Jazz scene for decades and has worked with Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, Airto & Flora, Jovino Santos Neto, and Ray Charles.

The rhythm section is rounded out by Phoenix bassist Christopher Finet and Bay Area drummer Mike Shannon, who are both equally comfortable with modern Jazz or Classical music. The intersection of stylistic influences never sounds contrived.

This distinctly Pan-American Jazz album always manages to sound natural and relaxed, even while maintaining the controlled approach of a Classical chamber ensemble.


David Valdez – alto saxophone
Harvey Wainapel – clarinet, bass clarinet
Jasnam Daya Singh – piano/composer
Christopher Finet – bass
Mike Shannon – drums
Pere Soto – guitar

Recorded July 14th and 15th, 2015 at Supernatural Sound in Oregon City, by recording engineer Sacha Müller.

Mixed in April 2017 by Sacha Müller. Mastered April 14th, 2017 at Specialized Mastering by Dana White.
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