There have been jazz artists who have set aside their usual instrument for an excursion into the realm of another. Bix Beiderbecke was known to play Ravel and other classic composers on the piano. Charles Mingus recorded an album on the keyboard. Now comes first rate trumpet player Arturo Sandoval with his own recorded adventure on the piano. In a trio setting, augmented by saxophonist Ed Calle on two tracks, he takes on an eclectic program of familiar and less familiar material including a few from his composing pen. Sandoval's pianism is characterized by flamboyant chordal and harmonic embellishments with roots in Art Tatum, through Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. No Bill Evans like minimalism here. He demonstrates an ability to reconstruct oft played standards with heavy doses of resourceful extemporization. "All The Things You Are" is run through a variety of styles, from swing to quasi classical at break neck speed showing staggering virtuosity along the way. Even on those tracks where he shows a softer side, including his own "D. A. S. S.", the penchant musical verbosity is evident. Sandoval shows that he can play with romantic restraint and beauty on a pensive, flowing "Marianela Says Goodbye". He can also delve into Thelonious Monk craggy impressionism on a spirited "Stella By Starlight" done to an undertone of Cuban rhythm provided by Ernesto Simpson. Sandoval indulges in several choruses of improvisational frenzy before he succumbs to the need for a quick reference to the melody line of this lovely tune.
While the trumpet player's pianism is both dazzling and impressive, one gets the feeling that the full range of Sandoval's stylistic repertoire has been exhausted with this release. As might be expected, he lacks a full envelope of technique and interpretative skill that could support a steady stream of piano albums. Perhaps like Mingus, this is his one shot with this release and will now return to what he does best, being a major performer on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Track Listing: Blues in F; Romantico; Departure*; Esta Tarde Vi Llover; All the Things You Are; Surena; Stella by Starlight; Time Before*; Marianela Says Goodbye; D. A. S. S.; Windmills of Your Mind; Blues En Fa
Personnel: Arturo Sandoval - Piano; Ed Calle - Sax*; Dennis Marks - Bass; Ernesto Simpson - Drums; Samuel Torres - Percussion
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.