Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rumba Palace Spotlights The Latin Side Of Arturo Sandoval

Jazz trumpet giant releases Telarc debut on May 22, 2007

“…[My] philosophy has always been that I love music. Period. I don't want to be remembered as a jazz trumpeter. I'd like to be remembered as a man who loved music. I like to play piano, I like to compose. I like to do all those things as much as I like to play the trumpet.”
—Arturo Sandoval in Billboard

Arturo Sandoval is the king of Latin jazz and one of the world’s most dynamic performers. The Cuban trumpet virtuoso has won four GRAMMY Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. Sandoval was a founding member of the band Irakere and later worked with Dizzy Gillespie. After defecting to the United States in 1990, his dramatic life story was made into a movie. On May 22, 2007, Telarc releases Sandoval’s 28th recording, Rumba Palace.

Stunningly sophisticated and elegant, the recording is titled after Sandoval’s newest nightclub in South Beach Miami. Rumba Palace displays plenty of fire, featuring ten new compositions that highlight the celebrated trumpeter’s Latin side.

With assistance from fellow Cubans Felipe Lamoglia on saxophone and EWI (electronic wind instrument), Tomas Cruz on percussion and Antonio Perez on keyboard, along with bassist Armando Gola and drummer Alexis Arce, Sandoval’s Telarc debut is an exciting and well-rounded recording.

Sandoval leads this high-powered ensemble on a variety of diverse material, opening the album with “A Gozar,” a dazzling showcase for his lightning-fast runs and supercharged tone. Sandoval also shows off his virtuoso singing, with some help from Cheito, best known for his work with Gloria Estefan.

Sandoval’s remarkable range is evident as he tears through “El Huracan Del Caribe” and “21st Century.” The moody and graceful “Sexy Lady” is another brilliant display of his flawless technique. Other highlights include the affecting minor-key ballad “Peaceful,” the lyrical “Having Fun” and the exuberant “Nouveau Cha-Cha.”

Sandoval wrote all of the material on Rumba Palace except for “Guarachando,” which was composed by Lamoglia, who also handles all the arrangements. The album was recorded in December 2006 at Turi’s Music Studio in Coral Gables, Florida, and was produced by Sandoval, Lamoglia and Carl Griffin.

Sandoval was born in Artemisa, Cuba, in 1949, and showed much promise when he began playing classical trumpet at the age of 12. Three years later, he was studying at the Cuban National School of the Arts.

During the Revolution of 1959, very few jazz records made their way into the country. However, Sandoval heard an album with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and soon became captivated by their sound. He continued his classical studies, but also began learning to play jazz.

In the ’70s, Sandoval helped start the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, a group that eventually became the influential Afro-cuban band Irakere. Along with pianist Chucho Valdes and reed player Paquito D’Rivera, the band’s mix of jazz, rock and traditional Cuban music became an international sensation. In 1978, Irakere won a GRAMMY for Best Latin Album.

Sandoval met Gillespie in 1977. The two became good friends, and Gillespie asked him to join his band. Sandoval toured with Gillespie throughout much of the ’80s and defected to the United States in 1990 while on tour in Rome, eventually settling in Florida with his wife and son. His passage to freedom was made into an HBO movie, For Love of Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story. Sandoval’s score for the movie won an Emmy.

In April 2006, he opened the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club in Miami Beach, Florida. The venue features both world class jazz acts as well as local talent, and Sandoval himself plays at the club. In February 2007, he opened a second club, Rumba Palace, in nearby South Beach.

Arturo Sandoval
Tomas Cruz -- percussion
Alexis Arce -- drummer
Armando Gola -- bass
Tony Perez -- keyboard
Felipe Lamoglia -- saxophone and EWI

1. A Gozar
2. Guarachando
3. El Huracan Del Caribe
4. 21st Century
5. Sexy Lady
6. Peaceful
7. Having Fun
8. Arranca De Nuevo
9. Rumba Palace
10. Nouveau Cha Cha

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