Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

281

Arturo Sandoval: Rumba Palace

By

Sign in to view read count
Recording technology advances offer jazz musicians the choice between documenting a live performance and creating a product. The ability to record a solo several times means that musicians can produce exactly what they hear in their heads, albeit at the expense of spontaneity. In some cases, this can result in a finely tuned jazz release that sounds crystal clear. On the other hand, jazz musicians can abuse this technology, resulting in highly produced instrumental pop albums. Arturo Sandoval's Rumba Palace walks that line, and too often strays into the territory of overproduction.

Several technical issues blur the line between musicianship and commercial intention. The music is arranged for Latin big band, yet wind players overdub themselves several times to create the illusion of a large ensemble. Sandoval not only plays first trumpet, he also plays many of the supporting parts; the same process is used to record the trombones and saxophones. The resultantly thick texture becomes muddy through synthesized horn sounds added into the mix. "Peaceful and "Having Fun sound tailor-made for the smooth jazz crowd due to the ever-present synthesized pads and funk backbeats. These elements make for an uneven sound and an unbalanced feel.

Despite the production issues, the ensemble's wealth of musicianship creates several outstanding moments. "El Huracan del Caribe is a top-notch piece of Timba, so blistering hot that you can't help but dance. "A Gozar provides jazz harmonies for the big band sections as well as a repeated montuno for Sandoval's lip-splitting high note solos and vocal improvisations. The brass and saxophones syncopate rhythmic melodies on "Nouveau Cha Cha, finding a strong balance between jazz and Latin tradition. The rhythm changes stucture and bop-ish melodic lines on "Guarachando meld into a solid piece of Latin jazz. Sandoval's beautiful tone drives a softer groove on "Rumba Palace, also featuring a strong Fender Rhodes solo from Tony Perez. These moments save the album, creating several memorable highlights.

The shining musical moments are the most frustrating part of Rumba Palace—they show the musicians' hidden potential. The rhythm section contains some of Miami's strongest Cuban musicians that, left unrestrained, can light a fire under any band. Sandoval has prodigious musical skills as a trumpeter, a composer, and a bandleader. An all-out blowing session would bring out the best in these guys—it would balance the musical depth of jazz and the entertainment value of dance music. Rumba Palace contains a hint of this balance, but it would have been a bolder statement if the musicians' skills were not so buried in the production.


Track Listing: A Gozar; Guarachando; El Huracan Del Caribe; 21st Century; Sexy Lady; Peaceful; Having Fun; Arranca De Nuevo; Rumba Palace; Nouveau Cha Cha.

Personnel: Arturo Sandoval: bass trumpet; Felipe Lamoglia: saxophone; Jason Carder: trumpet; Dante Luciani: trombone; Dana Teboe: trombone; Tony Perez: keyboard; Armando Gola: bass instrument; Alexis 'Pututi' Arce: bata; Tomas Cruz: bata; Cheito Quinones, Sr.: background vocals.

Title: Rumba Palace | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Shifting Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Shifting Borders
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!