Archive for April 29th, 2010

Arturo Sandoval – A Time For Love

In what promises to be a breakthrough achievement in a long and celebrated career, jazz impresario Arturo Sandoval‘s collection A Time For Love will be released by Concord Jazz. The album features classical compositions for orchestra and jazz trio by Grammy-winning arranger Jorge Calandrelli along with a sprinkling of American jazz standards by composers including Gershwin and Chaplin.

The Havana-born Sandoval, a multiple Grammy-winning horn player, has been yearning to do this album for decades. “It’s been twenty years since I came to live in the United States,” he explains, “and practically every year, with every record label who’s signed me, I’ve asked to make this style album. ‘Let me play softly,’ I said. ‘Let me play ballads with big orchestration behind me. Let me hear the violins and violas, the oboes and the flutes. Let me be inspired by a symphonic setting.”

However, record labels were reluctant to endorse this type of work by an artist known internationally for his own style of bebop-influenced Afro-Cuban jazz and for his technical precision. So, he took matters into his own hands by recording 20 tracks in his home studio that he described as speaking “the language of love.” A superb keyboardist as well as trumpet player, Sandoval played all the instruments and suggested the strings through a synthesizer.

Just when Sandoval was convinced that he would have to release the album himself, a meeting was held with Concord executive Gregg Field, who immediately embraced the project concept and agreed to come aboard as the album’s producer. “Over the next month, we discussed different ideas. As a foundation, Arturo had heard the Shelly Berg Trio album Blackbird and wanted that sound and sensitivity,” said Field. “I suggested Jorge Calandrelli as the arranger for the orchestra and Arturo, who had worked with Jorge in the past, loved the idea. Jorge has tremendous experience with multiple genres including classical cross-over having produced and arranged among others, YoYo Ma’s Soul of the Tango and Obrigato Brazil.”

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Chris Botti in Boston

Trumpeter Chris Botti, a gifted instrumentalist and a charismatic performer in the realm of contemporary jazz, has simultaneously captured the attention of the pop music world. The incredible group of Botti’s featured guest artists, along with his world-class band, includes Sting, Lucia Micarelli, John Mayer, Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, Yo-Yo Ma, Steven Tyler and Sy Smith, with Keith Lockhart conducting the Boston Pops.

A very comprehensive review of this phenomenal concert by Val Vaccaro is published at Smooth Jazz Vibes. The concert was taped on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. Botti comments this event: “the artists that performed in Boston are my friends. They’re not just people that I called up because they’re big stars. I’ve known them socially and I think that shows on the DVD and how everyone’s just kind of loose and we’re all having fun.”