According to the liner notes, there are “only a handful of people we can call true friends…those that stand by you in the best of times and hold you in the worst of times.” In Valarie King’s case, they also create beautiful music together. Joining this multitalented flautist on her latest release, Only Time Will Tell are a host of very gifted artists/friends. The results are 14 tracks that range from romantic ballads, contemporary grooves and spicy salsa, to traditional jazz and timeless orchestral features. As Paul Whiteman once said, “Jazz tickles your muscles, symphonies stretch your soul.” Valarie King’s Only Time Will Tell, does both.
King shines with City Lights, the lovely ensemble opener that puts a spotlight on her upbeat flute melody and the song’s composer, Greg Por e matches beautifully with his stunning acoustic guitar performance. Night Crawlers, continues the groove as King lends a mysterious vibe with lower flute notes, while special guest, Patrice Rushen smolders on keys. King takes lead vocals on Natalie Cole’s La Costa and this rendition showcases the gorgeous flute performance of Hubert Laws. The song later segues into a punctuating salsa on Part II with King (flute),Nolan Shaheed (trumpet), Por e (guitar), Greg Cook (synthesizer) and Mark Cargill (violin).
The title track, Only Time Will Tell is a romantic piece with symphonic elements performed by Cargill & the Tri-Ambient Orchestra, who are featured on several other tracks including the endearing ballad, Into Your Eyes. There’s nothing quite like the shiver of real strings to complement the vibrato of King’s flute!
Only Time Will Tell is a record that has something for everyone, be it, King’s performances on a trio of instruments (for example, flute, piccolo and alto flute) on the exotic Burning Spear as well as, the globe-trotting Traveler. There’s alsothe flavorful Da Chara, featuring the stunning guitar work of Anisa Angarola plus a funky Hot Slice with some smokin’ alto sax on the side (Jeff Clayton). Then answering the call from jazz purists, Kingfisher (written by Clayton) provides the traditional quartet sounds of flute (King), piano (Rushen), drums (Ralph Penland) and bass (Tony Dumas).
Valarie King’s new record, Only Time Will Tell is outstanding! Worth the time? A resounding yes!