Arturo Sandoval’s new release "Live at the Blue Note" is something of extraordinary proportions. With a street date of May 24, 2005, it is a celebration of all that Arturo is and has become throughout his 42 years of constantly living in the realm of music. Recorded on a summer night at the legendary jazz club, it is a musical journey through the heart and soul of Afro-Cuban Jazz, his endless love of straight-ahead jazz, Acid-Jazz, uproarious scat vocals, touching piano performances and percussion. Also within this packege is a DVD of his amazing Blue Note performances which took place throughout the same week!
Arturo Sandoval has charisma. It is a quality not easily measured, though instantly recognized. It defies scientific examination, excepting those moments when he dons a stage and through the sheer force of his personality incites the room’s ions to reverse their polarity. Arturo can be electric.
Nowhere is that more evident than in this music - Arturo’s first live date in nearly 40 recordings! The signature bravura, the illuming self-confidence (occasionally dispensed in the early days with gunslinger chops and authoritative take-downs) have given way to a rounder, more complete portrait of the artist.
Arturo is that rare mix of technical virtuoso and consummate showman, embracing with equal elan the challenge of furrowing a deep Cuban groove or unfurling a billowing ballad. Recognized early as musicianly beyond his years, he has now ascended to the ranks of the great.
Not because of that extraordinary command of the trumpet, nor those eyebrow-raising pianistics that initially seemed a sidebar to his horn play but which epitomize, in his own words, "My first true love " But because he connects with people in a most basic way, sharing with them the rarefied air reserved for the truly gifted and offering them passage on the wings of rhythm.
That power, the ability to transport, transcends the Grammys and the Emmys and the dramatic treatments that bullet-point the highs and lows of his life; it distinguishes him, and can be heard and seen throughout the sweep of this performance.
From the neon kineticism of "The Real McBop" (with a nod to mentor Dizzy Gillespie, for sure), to the street swagger of "Eso Es Lo Que Hay"; from the galvanized group interplay of "Eastern Blues," to the scat-cum-vocalese tour de force, "Blues For Diz" (yes, that mentor again); from the poetic lyricism of "Surena" and Alicia Keys’s "If I Ain’t Got You," to the loping, journey-across-the heart, "Rhythm Of Our World."
The arc of Arturo’s career is all here, his flights, his voyaging. Those in the know have been given a rare opportunity to go with him. This document, one special night at the Blue Note, is the passport.