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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Collection

Concord Jazz CJA 36432-02



1. Arranea de Nuevo

2. Speak Low

3. Salt Peanuts (Mani Salado)

4. Guarachando

5. I Loves You Porgy

6. Birk’s Works (ala Mancini)

7. Sexy Lady

8. Tin Tin Deo

9. Pavane pour une Infante Defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess)

10. And Then She Stopped

11. El Huracán del Caribe

12. A Night in Tunisia (Actually an Entire Weekend!)

Collective personnel

Arturo Sandoval – Trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals, bass trumpet

Plas Johnson – Tenor sax

Joey DeFrancesco – B3 Hammond organ

Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Willie Murillo, Gary Grant – Trumpet, flugelhorn

Jason Carder - Trumpet

Andy Martin, Bruce Otto, Steve Holtman, Dana Teboe, Dante Luciani, Bob McChesney – Trombone

Craig Gosnell – Bass trombone

Dan Higgins – Alto sax, flute, piccolo, alto flute

Rusty Higgins – Alto sax, alto flute, C flute

Bob Sheppard, Rob Lockart, Brian Scanlon – Tenor sax, clarinet

Bob Mintzer – Tenor sax

Greg Huckins – Baritone sax, bass clarinet

Felipe Lamoglia - Saxes

Shelly Berg – Piano

Tony Perez – Keyboard, piano

Gary Burton - Vibes

Chuck Berghofer, Carlitos del Puerto – Bass

Armando Gola – Electric bass

Brian Nova, Dustin Higgins – Guitar

Alexis “Pututi” Arce – Drums, timbales

Gregg Field – Drums, percussion

Joey De Leon, Munyungo Jackson, Tomas Cruz – Percussion

Andy Garcia – Bongoes

Ralph Morrison – Violin, concertmaster

Sara Parkins, Roland Kato – Violin

Roland Kato - Viola

Trevor Handy – Cello

Joe Pesci – Vocals

Cheito Quinones, Sr. – Background vocals

This compilation purports to present us with twelve of the best tracks recorded by trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. The recorded sound is bright as a button, and the backing bands are mostly huge.

Anyone used to Arturo as a purveyor of high notes may be surprised at the opening Arranea de Nuevo, which starts very quietly and only gradually pumps up the heat. Sandoval plays the flugelhorn, creating a mellow tone. Speak Low also has Arturo on the flugelhorn in pensive mood. Pianist Shelly Berg supplies an equally thoughtful solo.

Sandoval’s devotion to Dizzy Gillespie is evident in the appearance of several of Dizzy’s compositions here. Salt Peanuts is given a rather subdued interpretation until the tempo quickens and the orchestra chants the magical words “Salt peanuts”. Bob Mintzer’s tenor solo is typically authoritative, and Arturo picks up the trumpet to let loose some fireworks. Gary Burton’s vibes solo settles things down a bit. The percussion is prominent in Guarachando, written by Felipe Lamoglia, one of the band’s saxophonists. Sandoval swaps his high notes with one of the trombonists (this is one of the album’s failings: not identifying all the soloists).

I Loves You Porgy is a feature for Arturo’s emotive (but occasionally out of tune) trumpet, backed only by the rhythm section. Birk’s Works (another Gillespie composition) features the inimitable saxophone of Plas Johnson, inevitably conjuring up pictures of that pink panther. Joey DeFrancesco’s B3 Hammond organ brings us back to earth with solid funk. Sandoval solos again, but his intonation is still not perfect.

Moving on to another tune associated with Dizzy Gillespie: Tin Tin Deo, which is again somewhat subdued, with a short female vocal, some trumpet stratospherics, and a pleasant piano solo from Shelly Berg. Echoing strings introduce Ravel’s familiar Pavane, which Sandoval treats with suitable reticence. Chris Botti’s trumpet plays a duet with Arturo’s.

And Then She Stopped is a jolly piece of Gillespiana. Joey DeFrancesco gets to solo before a muted Sandoval takes over. Arturo then takes the vocal on his own composition El Huracán del Caribe, a lively Afro-Cuban piece. The album ends with more Gillespie: A Night in Tunisia. Bob McChesney sends out sparks on trombone and Ed Calle’s saxophone follows by doing the same. But these are just the prelude to pyrotechnics from Arturo Sandoval, ending in a cadenza which threatens to blow the roof off. Here, as elsewhere, the big-band arrangements tend to be overpowering and lack subtlety. But this is an interesting collection showing Sandoval’s talents to the full.

Tony Augarde

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