On the house, the fiery Cuban born trumpet Arturo Sandoval leads a group that is slightly smaller than Maynard Fergusons' Big Bop Nouveau (two trumpets, two saxes, two trombones and rhymn), adding a spirited Latin beat shaped by drums, bass, piano, synthesizer and three rhythm specialists- Castrillo, Bonilla and Toledo with renowned timbalero Tito Puente sitting in on two numbers. Like Maynard, Sandoval employs his highly energetic high note trumpet to add weight to ensemble passages, and tight arrangements to help make it the small group sound larger than what it is. Besides playing lead and soloing with poise, Sandoval wrote seven of 11 selections.
The others are Tadd Dameron's Hot House, Armando Manzanero's Only You, Mario Ruiz Armengol's Brassmen's Holiday and a Cuban medley. Patti Austin is simply delightful on the ballad Only You, (she sings in Spanish) as is Latin charmer Rey Ruiz on Sandoval's tribute to Tito Puente If you enjoy Latin music that nestles in a swinging groove and cooks deliciously under high heat, Hot House should provide more than enough nourishment to satisfy your hunger.