Renowned Virtuoso Jazz Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval Showcases His Prowess as a Pianist on Debut Album for Crescent Moon/Columbia Records
Sandoval's Piano Trio Performs Spirited New Compositions As Well as Distinctive Takes on Jazz Standards My Passion For The Piano in Stores Tuesday, March 12
NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- On My Passion For The Piano, his first album for Crescent Moon/Columbia Records, virtuoso jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval sets aside his horn and takes full command of the keys. While his recorded piano playing was first heard on Tumbaito (recorded in Madrid in 1986 and first released in 1987), Sandoval's current 12-tune collection of originals and jazz standards places his prowess as a pianist on full display for the first time. On My Passion For The Piano, Sandoval leads his trio of bassist Dennis Marks and drummer Ernesto Simpson and such special guests as saxophonist Ed Calle and percussionist Samuel Torres through a superb outing of spirited new compositions and distinctive renditions of classic tunes written by such greats as Armando Manzanero and Michel Legrand. Opening a new window on Sandoval's impressive musical career, My Passion For The Piano is in stores Tuesday, March 12.
"I love the piano," says the 52-year-old Havana-born, Miami-based Sandoval. "In fact, I practice it as much, if not more than, I do my trumpet. That's the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning." Inspired by his mentor Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval learned how to play the piano years ago to take his trumpet playing to a new level. "The piano is the best teaching tool for composing, arranging and orchestrating," he says. "I'm a better trumpeter as a result. I wrote my first classical concerto for trumpet on the piano."
Sandoval plays on an Imperial model Bosendorfer piano originally custom-made for the legendary Oscar Peterson. The piano is nine-and-a-half feet long and has ten extra keys. Sandoval's been the proud owner of the Bosendorfer for two years and exclaims "this is the best toy I ever got!"
Sandoval's peers in the jazz world have acknowledged the Cuban's keyboard acumen and proficiency. "I've listened to Arturo's piano album several times and it is great!" raved bop progenitor Billy Taylor after spending some time with My Passion For The Piano. "I am so happy that he doesn't play the piano for a living -- there would be many pianists out of work!"
A classically trained artist, Sandoval was a renowned trumpeter in his homeland and a co-founder of the Grammy Award winning Cuban jazz supergroup Irakere. Since being granted political asylum in the U.S. in 1990, Sandoval has recorded several CDs, including a classical album, and has garnered 12 Grammy nominations and four Grammy awards. He also won an Emmy for Outstanding Musical Composition for his underscore to the 2000 HBO docudrama, "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story," starring Andy Garcia. While the made-for-television film afforded Sandoval a higher profile, he was already acknowledged as one of jazz's foremost trumpeters. In 2001, he was awarded the ASCAP Founder's Award for his musical accomplishments as a trumpeter, composer and arranger.
"My philosophy has always been that I love music," Sandoval recently told Billboard magazine. "I don't want to be remembered as a jazz trumpeter. I'd like to be remembered as a man who loved music. Because I like to play piano, I like to compose. I like to do all those things as much as I like to play the trumpet."
At a gala party last November celebrating the 40th year of Sandoval's musical excellence, Emilio Estefan, Jr., founder of Crescent Moon Records, announced that the label had signed the trumpeter. "I've known Emilio and Gloria (Estefan) for many years," Sandoval says. "I'm proud to be working with Crescent Moon." As a part of his multi-album deal, Crescent Moon/Columbia Records will release several Sandoval jazz and classical albums, the first of which is My Passion For The Piano.
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