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Arturo Sandoval: Rumba Palace

Woodrow Wilkins By

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When Arturo Sandoval was born, jazz was relatively unknown in his native Cuba. One of the first jazz pioneers to break into that market was that bebop professor, Dizzy Gillespie. So it follows that Sandoval, who took up classical trumpet, would ultimately find inspiration from Gillespie. After several years with the Cuban group Irakere, Sandoval formed his own band and later became a member of Gillespie's ensemble.

Widely respected as a jazz trumpeter, Sandoval prefers to be recognized simply as a man who loves music. His career has covered jazz, Latin, Afro-Cuban music, bebop and classical. And he has earned four Grammy awards, six Billboard awards and an Emmy for composing work and the underscore for the HBO movie that was based on his life, For Love or Country.

Now a U.S. citizen and resident of Miami, Sandoval is a tenured professor at Florida State University while continuing to perform and record. Rumba Palace is named for Sandoval's newest nightclub in South Beach Miami. It's a showcase of the artist's Latin style, with a large horn section and percussionists.

"A Gozar sets things off in straightforward style. A lively, party atmosphere is evident in this tune, in which Sandoval also sings joined by guest vocalist Cheito Quinones. While the brass and vocals are the main forces on this song, it's Alex "Patuti Arse on drums and timbales and Tomas Cruz on percussion that give it extra juice.

More of the same comes through on "Guarachando, minus the vocals. Several of the horns get brief solos, including saxophonist Felipe Lamoglia, who wrote the tune and handled all arrangements. Armando Gola's bass line is more prominent on the high-energy "21st Century. Sandoval delivers a piercing solo, showing crispness and precision on the high notes. After a blistering interlude by Lamoglia, Gola comes back with a solo of his own.

For a change of pace, Sandoval leads on the elegant ballad "Peaceful, backed only by Lamoglia, Gola and pianist Antonio Perez. After a moment's tranquility, things pick up when the full band returns for "Having Fun. Like most of the songs, it is lively, danceable groove.

Rumba Palace may be a taste of Sandoval at his best. All 10 songs are originals—nine of them penned by the artist. With Jason Carder assisting on trumpets, and Dana Teboe and Dante Luciani on trombones, this Latin orchestra is first rate. So is the music.

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

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