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Straight-ahead piano trio jazz is one of Arturo Sandoval's passions. High-flying, bebop-rooted trumpeting is another. There are other passions in his life. In November 2000, HBO television depicted his life in a special film, For Love Or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy Garcia.
Like his mentor, Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval has always felt comfortable sitting down at the piano to accompany his band and to share in the ensemble's fun. As a piano soloist, he is surprisingly well skilled. After all, he's classically trained. Sandoval attended Cuba's National School of the Arts before helping to found Havana's Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna and Irakere.
Using the instrument's full range and a percussive technique, Sandoval creates a forceful piano machismo. Romantic on ballads and agile on romps, he expresses from the heart. One truly romantic piece is named for his wife. The pianist's fiery interpretation of "All The Things You Are" turns awe-inspiring. As a pianist, he's more than convincing; Sandoval loves what he's doing and performs well. With several other standards, and originals by both Sandoval and bassist Dennis Marks, the trio pumps variety into its session. The addition of saxophonist Ed Calle and conguero Samuel Torres works well; but it's the core piano trio that shines here. Showing a stylistic range that extends from Don Pullen and McCoy Tyner to Bill Evans, Arturo Sandoval has a passion for creative jazz that works exceptionally well on piano. His piano album comes highly recommended.
Track Listing: Blues In Fa; Romantico; Departure; Esta Tarde Vi Llover; All the Things You Are; Sure
Personnel: Arturo Sandoval- piano; Dennis Marks- bass; Ernesto Simpson- drums; Ed Calle- soprano saxophone on "Departure," tenor saxophone on "Time Before;" Samuel Torres- percussion on "D.A.S.S.," "Time Before," "Stella By Starlight" and "Esta Tarde Vi LLover."
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.