Arturo Sandoval L.A. Meetings

Arturo Sandoval
L.A. Meetings
Cubop Records

From the label that has been bringing us some of the greatest and most innovative sounds of Latin Jazz comes this gem from the folks at Cubop. Arturo Sandoval L.A. Meetings is a must have recording for any lover of Latin Jazz, Arturo Sandoval or any one who enjoys great music.

Having been recorded over 11 years ago while Arturo and his band were passing through Los Angeles this recording will have you saying, "What took them so long to release this one?" This session was produced by Frank Marrone and was recorded less than a year before Arturo's defection from Cuba. Arturo without a doubt has created a name and a strong following for himself from fans of the Jazz and Latin world and this new/old recording will have those fans thrilled.

For one, this session includes the talents of Arturo's top notch Cuban band including Jorge Reyes (Bass), Hilario Duran (Piano), Jorge Luis Chicoy (Guitar), Bernardo Garcia (Drums), Reinaldo "Pichi" Valera (Congas) along with the great exponent of Latin Jazz, El Conguero Poncho Sanchez.

The selection of tunes on this disc are varied and all have that special Arturo Sandoval magic touch. Just listen to the magic on the opening number "Rimsky" which Arturo recorded and release many years ago. Arturo Sandoval and Poncho Sanchez bring this tune to a high level of groove. Just listen to the fun Arturo is having with his fiery timbales solo. Poncho delivers one of the most inspired solos I have ever heard him do. This is one hip tune! "Pete's King Heart" is a swinging straight-ahead Jazz number that has a touch of sophistication that only Arturo could add. Listen to how his trumpet speaks and gives to us, the listener, the emotion that only a master like Arturo can deliver.

"L.A. Meetings" is the title track and is a funky down to earth number that is full of soul. Listen to the vibrant texture and the cool guitar of Jorge Luis Chicoy. "Mi Lugar" has a touch of reggae that adds nicely to this group's repertoire. "Libertad Carnival" is a joyous tune that gives you a strong feeling of a party theme. This one is a great party tune and has a nice edge to it. Arturo's horn falls in nicely and leads this ensemble into a creative and explosive piece of music. One of my all-time favorite tunes is done next and with all the touches of a classic. "Dindi" the great tune that was composed by the brilliant Antonio Carlos Jobim is done here with a touch of elegance and class. This already gorgeous tune becomes transformed into a soft, lovely breeze that allows Arturo to deliver one of his best efforts on the horn. Poncho Sanchez sticks around on bongos and the tune is given a breathe of fresh air by a wonderful guitar solo by Jorge Luis.

Thanks to Frank Marrone, Arturo Sandoval and Cubop records for giving us this wonderful gift. L.A. Meetings is a classic that will be cherished for many many years to come. Could this be another Grammy winner for Arturo..? You be the judge.

By Erik Chico Manqueros
Host & Producer of The Latin Style of Jazz and Contributing writer
Latin Style Magazine,