Crescent Moon / Columbia
A technically exhausting performer, Sandoval has always valued musical versatility over the honing of one single playing style. His roots may be in bop, but he steadfastly refuses to limit himself to that (admittedly broad) paradigm. As such, Trumpet Evolution is the album he inevitably had to make at one point, and it’s no surprise that it’s his most endearing and uniform recorded success, despite its inherent diversity.
Sandoval proves his amazing scope by providing a loose history of the greatest trumpet players of the 20th century, starting with an interpretation of King Oliver’s “Dipper Mouth Blues” and ending with the still young Wynston Marsalis’s “Later.” In between are such diverse artists and tunes as Beiderbecke’s “At the Jazz Band Hall,” Dizzy’s “Manteca” (in Ed Calle’s standout arrangement), Miles’s “Round Midnight” and a sweet “My Funny Valentine,” inspired by Chet Baker’s interpretation.
The more out-there and physically impressive stuff is also among the more immediately appealing tunes: Clark Terry’s unique playing style is wonderfully appropriated by Sandoval on “Tee Pee Time,” and he’s long since mastered and explored Maynard Ferguson’s high-tone control, as evidenced on the Ferguson track included here. The odd one out is the inclusion of French classical player Maurice Andre, but Sandoval’s diverse-yet-unified presence makes even this one fit in somehow. Trumpet Evolution is brave and explorative enough to handle that diversity with the grace and inclusive spirit that is the backbone of all of Sandoval’s playing.
Arturo Sandoval: http://www.arturosandoval.com/